By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

26th May, 2023 | 12:10pm

Aston Villa to search for 'sensible' Jhon Duran loan move as big-name strikers targeted - Sky Sports journalist

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports and The Athletic’s Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

Dan Bardell believes the make-up of the Aston Villa first-team squad is pointing towards Jhon Duran securing a loan move away from Villa Park this summer.

Duran, 19, became Unai Emery’s second signing at the club when moving from MLS side Chicago Fire in the January transfer window for £18million. [BBC Sport]

Since arriving at Villa Park, the Colombian teenager has found regular game time hard to come by, amassing a mere 124 minutes of Premier League action across 12 substitute appearances.

Ollie Watkins has quickly become Emery’s main man in attack following a blitz of 11 goals in 12 games, while Cameron Archer is due to arrive back at the club for pre-season following his highly productive loan spell at Middlesbrough.

Villa have already also been linked with big-name strikers Dusan Vlahovic [The Telegraph, 4 May] and Niko Williams [Daily Mail, 9 February] ahead of the summer transfer window.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell admitted that the make-up of the first-team squad next season could lead to the Duran being loaned out to a European club.

“Yeh, that is how I would see the make-up of our squad heading into next season, getting a high-level striker, Watkins will stay and they will play together,” he said.

“It isn’t always necessarily a striker who fills those two forward spots, the likes of Buendia and Bailey can play there, so from that point of view, I think Archer would be the third striker that would play in the cups and maybe in Europe as well if we qualify.

“You can then send Duran out on loan somewhere in Europe to try and get some experience under his belt – that would be the sensible thing for Villa to do.

“Archer has proven himself at Middlesbrough, and they haven’t gone up, so he is more likely to stay around the club and get some minutes under Emery now.

“It’s all pointing towards Duran heading out on loan this summer I think.”

In other Aston Villa news, a three-man La Liga blitz may be on the cards amid a potential reunion for Emery.