By Jonty Banks

16th Mar, 2023 | 10:30am

Ruesha Littlejohn latest injury raises questions about Aston Villa Women future

Ruesha Littlejohn has had a campaign to forget after a string of ill-timed injuries, and her future in an Aston Villa shirt could now be brought into question.

The Republic of Ireland international sustained a knee injury just five minutes after coming off the bench in the second half of the 2-1 win over West Ham and now looks set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Aston Villa’s official website revealed (Tuesday, 14 March) that Littlejohn had suffered a deep laceration to her knee and will be monitored by the club’s medical staff over the next week.

This comes as a huge blow to the 32-year-old, who has made just four substitute appearances for Carla Ward’s side this season due to a foot injury which kept her sidelined over the festive period and New Year.

Not only does this affect Villa on the pitch, with the pressure on the likes of Lucy Staniforth and Jordan Nobbs to remain fully fit and firing, but it also surfaces questions as to whether Littlejohn has a future in the West Midlands beyond the end of the season.

When on the pitch, there is no doubting the former Celtic players’ quality and experience, but can Littlejohn stay fit enough to feature on a weekly basis?

The 68-capped international can’t be blamed for the injury she picked up against the Hammers after being the victim of a rough tackle, but at 32 and after such limited exposure this term, it will take a mammoth effort to get herself back into contention for a first-team starting spot.

With Villa looking to ascend into the upper echelons of the Women’s Super League in the coming years, with the likes of Rachel Daly, Kenza Dali and Nobbs all central to these plans, the club can’t afford to carry any passengers along the way.

A tough decision awaits Ward, and a parting of the ways could potentially be on the cards this summer.

In other Aston Villa news, a “silly offer” could lead to Ollie Watkins quitting Villa Park in the summer.