Aston Villa manager Unai Emery would be open to adding new players to his squad (John Walton/PA)
22 January 2023

Unai Emery keeping his options open over January signings for Aston Villa

22 January 2023

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery is open to adding new players to his squad in the January transfer window.

Ollie Watkins scored the only goal of the game in a win at Southampton on Saturday which lifted Villa up to 11th in the Premier League, just one point behind Chelsea and Liverpool.

In the current window, they have sold Danny Ings to West Ham for a reported £15million and signed Alex Moreno from Real Betis. Jhon Duran has also been brought in but Emery called for patience over the 19-year-old forward.

That leaves Watkins as the only senior striker in the squad and Villa boss Emery admitted he would be open to adding to his current contingent.

“At the moment we are speaking about some players that are getting ready to leave and then if we have some space to add some players to improve the squad, taking the balance in the squad, we are going to do it,” the Villa boss said.

“But only if they are going to add some different quality in the squad, but if not… At the moment we have very good players and we are happy with the players that we have, but of course we want to add more players, maybe this transfer or maybe in the summer.”

Watkins wants his side to use the victory at Southampton as added motivation to push on further, as Villa extended their unbeaten league run to four matches.

“It’s always hard to go and win away in the Premier League,” Watkins told the club website.

“Whether it’s bottom of the league or top of the league, it’s always going to be difficult.

“It’s massive for us and hopefully we can keep pushing on now.”

Southampton defender Duje Caleta-Car wants his side to put the defeat behind them as they prepare for the visit of Newcastle in the Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

“We’re disappointed, angry,” the Croatia international told his club website.

“I don’t know what the feelings are now going through the head. We expected more from the game and it was not our best performance. I don’t know why but we need to do it better and we expected more from this game.

“When you see our last games, we had looked confident. It’s a tough one to take but we need to now take a rest and be ready for Newcastle.”

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