Express & Star

Unai Emery bemoans Aston Villa's ever growing injury crisis

Unai Emery claims Villa’s injury crisis is the worst he’s ever experienced after Diego Carlos became their ELEVENTH player to be sidelined this season.

Last updated

The Brazilian centre-back will miss up to a month with a hamstring injury sustained in training, just days after Boubacar Kamara was ruled out for the rest of the campaign with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Kamara is the third Villa player to suffer that injury this season with Emi Buendia and Tyrone Mings going down within days of each other last August.

Striker Jhon Duran (hamstring) and defender Ezri Konsa (knee) also remain out, while Pau Torres (ankle) and Lucas Digne (hamstring) have only just returned from lay-offs.

Emery, who was without Jacob Ramsey (foot) and Alex Moreno (hamstring) in the opening weeks of the season and lost Youri Tielemans for more than a month to a calf problem, said: “I can never remember a time like this.

“It’s not an excuse. When injuries happen, I always accept it but of course this is the worst.

“We are human and of course we are going to support the players, particularly with ACL injuries.

‘It’s the worst moment for them and their families. Every day it’s good for us to meet Tyrone, Emiliano and now Kamara. They are not available but the message is always that they will come back stronger than before.

‘I’ve never had this situation before as a coach. But we have accept it and keep going. We be positive, we work, and try to support the players who will have chances.”

Among the players Emery is urging to step up is 20-year-old midfielder Tim Iroegbunam, who he views as the most direct replacement for Kamara.

The Albion academy product has made just two substitute appearances in the Premier League this season.

But Emery said: “It is his moment. He has to be ready, being demanding and saying: ‘It is my time and I am here!’

“I don’t know if he is going to, but I am positive with him and I believe in him.”