Aston Villa must unleash Hayden Lindley

Aston Villa have found their form again in the Premier League as Unai Emery’s side have won their last two matches in the division after a three-game losing streak.

The Villans had been beaten by Leicester, Manchester City, and Arsenal in succession but have bounced back with wins – and clean sheets – against Everton and Crystal Palace.

Their 1-0 victory over the Eagles was their most recent success but Emery was hit with a huge blow during the game as defensive midfielder Boubacar Kamara was forced off with a muscular issue.

It has since been revealed that the former Marseille gem is set to be out for a ‘few weeks’ with The Athletic’s Gregg Evans claiming that Calum Chambers is the most likely player to replace the Frenchman at the base of the midfield.

However, the English defender’s woeful form in the Premier League this season does not suggest that he is ready to step up into that role in the upcoming matches.

The 28-year-old has averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.42 across six outings in the division, whilst also averaging a score of 6.45 in two EFL Cup appearances, and lost a staggering 67% of his individual duels in that time.

He has been physically dominated and only made 1.5 tackles and interceptions per game to make up for his lack of strength, whilst completing 82% of his passes.

Instead of unleashing the underperforming dud to replace the injured Kamara, who was once dubbed a “phenomenon” by ex-teammate Rolando, Emery could dip into the academy set-up to bring youth a young player – Hayden Lindley.

Who is Hayden Lindley?

The 20-year-old is a natural defensive midfielder, not a centre-back by trade like Chambers, and has caught the eye for the club’s U21 side in recent seasons.

Should Hayden Lindley be unleashed?





In the EFL Trophy earlier this term, the youngster put in a fantastic display against Wimbledon – recording a Sofascore rating of 7.6 – as he won 100% of his duels and completed 83% of his passes.

In 2021/22, the enforcer made three tackles and interceptions per match across three outings in the same competition and this shows that the academy ace has the potential to make vital defensive contributions on a regular basis.

Lindley, who played five games on loan at Newport County earlier in his career, has made eight Premier League 2 appearances for the U21 side this term and picked up five yellow cards, highlighting the level of aggression and physicality he can bring in the middle of the park.

The young talent also has a mature head on his shoulders having been the captain of the U21s, indicating that the gem has leadership qualities that could allow him to adapt to the step up to senior level.

Therefore, Emery must push Chambers to one side and unleash Lindley to see if he can make his mark in the first team during Kamara’s absence.

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