Five Aston Villa players could say farewell to Villa Park after Burnley

Aston Villa’s final home game of the season comes tonight as Steven Gerrard’s side welcome relegation-threatened Burnley to Villa Park.

It is customary for teams to begin on a lap of honor and Villa players will applaud their home fans for their support during what has been a turbulent campaign for the club. From the summer sale of Jack Grealish to the sacking of Dean Smith, the appointment of Steven Gerrard and arrival of Philippe Coutinho – it has been a whirlwind nine months at B6.

And while Villa aim to finish in the top half for the first time in a decade this term, preparations for a crucial 2022/23 campaign are already underway. Steven Gerard is beginning to shape his squad to compete for European football next season. He has already convinced the likes of Philippe Coutinho (loan) and Lucas Digne to sign on at the club, and he will be hoping for more success in the market come the end of this season.

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Villa could look to raise funds through player sales, while several members of Gerrard’s squad are set to enter the final 12 months of their contracts. Here are a few players whose futures remain uncertain at Villa Park.

BERTRAND TRAORE

Traore could be off this summer after struggling to back up what was a very encouraging first Premier League campaign with the club. The Burkina Faso international has started just once under Gerrard this season, while he has made a total of eight appearances this term, featuring in just 180 minutes of Premier League action. Traore managed to register 14 goal contributions last season, but has failed to match those numbers because of injury, international commitments and otherwise a lack of form.

Villa are also well-stocked with wide forwards, wingers, strikers, number 10s – you name it. From Philippe Coutinho, to Emi Buendia, Leon Bailey and even the soon to be returning Jaden Philogene-Bidace – Troare could be a casualty if Gerrard looks to raise funds from player sales this summer.

MORGAN SANSON

Sanson has struggled for game time since arriving at the club in January 20221 and his minutes on the pitch haven’t improved after Gerrard’s arrival, either. The Frenchman has started three times under the Liverpool legend, while he has come off the bench another seven times in recent months.

He joined Villa for a reasonable £15million, but it’s hard to value a player who has seen such little first-team action for over 16 months now. Sanson could leave the club if he wants to get more match minutes as he is set to turn 28 years of age just after the new 2022/23 campaign kicks off.

KORTNEY HAUSE

Kortney Hause is reportedly ‘keen’ to leave the club this summer. The defender recently signed a new contract with Villa, but he has seen next to no game time under Gerrard this season. Hause has only made seven appearances for Villa this campaign, with just one start coming since Gerrard replaced Dean Smith in November.

His only start came in the 2-1 defeat at Brentford back in January, but since the end of that month, Hause has not played while Calum Chambers joined the club in the transfer window. The former Arsenal centre-back has played eight of the last 13 games, while Hause hasn’t featured for a single minute of action in that time, though he has been out with an abdominal injury.

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CARNEY CHUKWUEMEKA

Teenage sensation Chukwuemeka is yet to sign a new contract at the club and could leave this summer if interest in him intensifies. He wants more assurances over his game time under Gerrard before he commits his long-term future to the club. Though, he has made ten appearances under the Villa boss since he was appointed as Smith’s successor back in November.

Chukwuemeka was trusted to come on against title challengers Liverpool at Villa Park earlier this month and after full-time, BirminghamLive quizzed Gerrard on the 18-year-old’s situation: “He’s hopefully going to be a big player for Aston Villa. We want him to stay here long-term. We believe it’s the right place for Carney and, again, myself and the staff have shown huge trust putting an 18-year-old in but we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t think he was ready, or have the ability not to cope.

“It was a good experience (vs Liverpool) and a learning one for him, being on the pitch around so much quality. So, yeah, I hope that situation progresses in a positive way. In training he’s been fantastic and I’ve said many times, if these young kids outtrain and deserve to go onto the pitch before people who are older, I’ll put them on!”

DOUGLAS-LUIZ

Like Chukwuemeka, the Brazil international is yet to sign a new contract at Villa and come the summer he will only have 12 months left on the deal his signed to join the Midlands club back in 2019. There was interest in Douglas in January, but Villa turned down several approaches, with Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United all said to be monitoring the situation.

Luiz has made 32 appearances for Villa this season and recently notched over 100 Premier League games in claret and blue, having joined from Manchester City the summer after Villa gained promotion back to the top-flight. It will be intriguing to see if Luiz opts to sign a new deal, or if Villa feel the need to cash-in, with his contract running down.

Will Traore feature for Villa tonight? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section…

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