Aston Villa held a closed door friendly against Fleetwood yesterday with Garde giving the likes of Kozak, Gardner, Senderos, N’Zogbia, Okore and Adama Traore the chance to impress the boss in a 90 minute game situation. Adama Traore scored 2 goals, as did U21 captain Jordan Lyden and 1 goal for N’Zogbia. The player that stood out was Adama Traore. The forgotten winger made sure that he’d impress new boss with a terrific display. With Aston Villa yet to score a goal under Remi Garde, Adama Traore is making a case for himself. Traore still has a lot to learn and develop, but he strong, skillful and wants to beat his man. We have seen this already during his short substitute appearances. But one can not ignore the fact that Traore has already provided an assist and a goal for Aston Villa, despite playing 129 minutes of football. In fact only Jack Grealish has scored and provided at least one assist for Villa this season, but played 848 minutes of football, and his current form is poor.
What about the other players? Unfortunately not a lot of information was released from the AVFC match against Fleetwood. That could indicate that the likes of Kozak and Gardner failed to impress, or simply performed average. Perhaps Villa’s U21 captain Lyden impressed Garde. The 17 year old Aussie, has played 90 minutes in all 10 Villa U21 games scoring 2 goals in the process. He sure looks like a player that could one day break into the Aston Villa first team, but the age of 17 is simply too early, but good signs nonetheless.
Aston Villa’s game against Watford might feature some new players in the match-day squad with some places up for grabs. Any of those players that impressed against Fleetwood may make there way into the match-day squad, if not starting against a must-win game against Watford.