Aston Villa have not had an ideal start to their current Premier League campaign in terms of the results they have racked up so far.
With seven matches played, Steven Gerrard’s side have won two, drawn one and lost four, currently placing them just three points above the relegation zone in 15th.
The Villans have recently been hit with a potential injury blow as Lucas Digne has been forced to withdraw from the France squad as a result of an ankle issue.
Should the 29-year-old end up not being able to play in Villa’s next Premier League game against Leeds United on 2 October, this could give Gerrard the opportunity to unleash summer signing Ludwig Augustinsson for his first taste of English top-flight action.
In July, the Midlands club signed the left-back on a season-long loan from Sevilla worth a reported fee of £500k. Since then, the £17.7k-per-week defender has been an unused substitute for all of Villa’s league games.
Described as a “really shrewd” signing by Gerrard, the Sweden international will surely be chomping at the bit to get some minutes under his belt in the Premier League for Villa and show the manager what he’s capable of producing.
In 19 La Liga appearances with Sevilla last term, the 28-year-old won 13 tackles and made 19 blocks, nine interceptions and 28 clearances, highlighting his defensive acumen.
Bearing in mind how Digne has a higher combined total of tackles and interceptions (22) than any other Villa defender, it’s safe to say that, should he be unable to play against Leeds or any other game beyond that, someone like Augustinsson would need to ensure that they can replace the defensive prowess that the Frenchman has delivered for Gerrard’s side in the early weeks of the campaign.
While the hope will be that Digne will be fit enough to feature at Elland Road, it should still be a consideration for the Villa manager to give the Swedish summer recruit his Premier League debut, as he could solve a big problem caused by the Frenchman’s potential absence.