Unai Emery reveals ‘versatile’ Aston Villa new boy is ‘ready’ to make debut against Burnley

News Desk
Unai Emery sits in the dugout before a match.
Unai Emery sits in the dugout before a match.

Unai Emery says Nicolo Zaniolo is “ready” to make his Aston Villa debut on Sunday against Burnley.

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery hopes to unleash the “power” of summer signing Nicolo Zaniolo against Burnley on Sunday.

Zaniolo joined Villa on loan, with an option to buy, from Galatasaray earlier this month, having only joined the Turkish side in February from Roma.

The Italy international was not registered in time to face Everton in the Premier League and was ineligible to feature against Hibernian in the Europa Conference League after playing in Galatasaray’s Champions League qualifier against Zalgiris in July.

However, the 24-year-old is set to make his Villa debut at Turf Moor as Emery’s side look to build on the 4-0 win over Everton and the midweek 5-0 thrashing of Hibs.

“His first match he didn’t have the right permission and he couldn’t play in Europe, the two matches against Hibernian,” Emery said.

“But he is ready for Sunday and, of course, we are trying to add his quality offensively, his position on the pitch, playing right, playing left, playing higher and lower.

“And he is ready to play because he’s training very well, he has very good spirit and energy, he has power.

“He is a little bit different from the strikers we have now because he can play being versatile.

“He is training very well and hopefully on Sunday he can play. He can show at the beginning his adaptation is going well and he can show with his performances for us.”

Emery will check on the fitness of goalkeeper Emi Martinez before naming his side. Martinez was substituted at half-time against Hibs with a minor calf complaint and will be assessed at training on Saturday.

Villa’s 5-1 loss at Newcastle and 4-0 win over Everton means they are only the second team in top-flight history to lose their opening game by four or more goals and win their second by the same margin or higher.

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