86 minutes, 0 goals: Villa outcast struggling to build any sort of claim for PL return – opinion

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Loan Watch series, which takes a closer look at those players who are aiming to galvanise their careers away from the spotlight of their parent club.

Right before the international break, there was a glimpse that fortunes may be about to change for one Midlands club.

Aston Villa rocked up to Carrow Road and thrashed Norwich City 5-1 with club-record signing Wesley netting a brace to double his tally for the season while midfield trio Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane and Douglas Luiz also got their names on the scoresheet.

It was just Villa’s second win of the Premier League season, but it did see them move out of the relegation zone and into 15th.

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Before the match, Dean Smith’s men had only scored eight goals in their seven top-flight matches, so it may have come as a surprise to see them notch five in one game alone.

The scoring of chances has been a somewhat critical problem for the 48-year-old based on those numbers, adding to that the fact that they had received just two goals from their lone £22m striker too.

As the season draws on, there could be plenty of opportunity for Villa’s fringe cohort, youngsters, or even their loan outcasts to earn their chance at playing, especially if the side are unable to get the ball rolling after that dominant victory.

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One of those with a significant opportunity could have been Andre Green, who did actually play some part in earning the club promotion last season.

He scored one goal and assisted one more in nine starts, per WhoScored, after returning from his loan spell at Portsmouth.

Green has once again gone out on loan this season to Preston North End in the Championship but has failed to make any impact of note, meaning he’s unlikely to be in Smith’s thoughts as the season rumbles on.

After scoring on his full debut in the Carabao Cup against League Two Bradford City, the winger has barely been seen.

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He has played a total of just 86 minutes in the league, coming on as a substitute three times.

Green hasn’t even been named in the matchday squad for any of their last four Championship matches, which makes this loan move seem rather pointless for his career prospects.

If he’s unable to break into the side at Deepdale, it could mean that his Villa career is in serious jeopardy long-term as if he can’t produce the goods in a division below, he’s unlikely to be able to match the level of quality in the Premier League.

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