By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

11th Aug, 2023 | 7:30am

Pau Torres and Youri Tielemans doubts for Aston Villa v Newcastle United as Sky Sports journalist speculates

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

Aston Villa will not “mess around” with Moussa Diaby who is set to start in their opening Premier League fixture against Newcastle on Saturday (12 August), but other new recruits could miss out, according to Dan Bardell.

Villa have brought in three excellent signings in Diaby, Youri Tielemans and Pau Torres who all look like upgrades in their position and big boosts for the club’s European expectations.

However, the process of their interaction into first-team action is unknown. With Torres and Diaby coming from foreign leagues and having never played in the Premier League, many are unsure if they will get starting spots. Tielemans does have experience in the top flight but could struggle to displace a strong midfield.

However, Bardell has claimed that Diaby is almost certain to start the opening match, while Torres and Tielemans may have to wait a while longer before being put in the starting XI.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell said: “Just by the process of elimination, the fact the Tielemans, Boubacar Kamara and Douglas Luiz haven’t played in the same team during pre-season means it’s unlikely Tielemans will start.

“Tielemans will have to bide his time to break into that midfield. He’ll play in Europe, but now I think Kamara and Luiz have the central midfield sewn up. I think they’ll be the two that start against Newcastle.

“Torres, I’m 50/50 on whether he’ll start that game. If he does, I think he’ll start at that left-back slash third centre-back. It’s a tough first game in the Premier League season, away at Newcastle.

“I think my preference would be Luca Digne in that position. That’s probably what Emery will do.

“But Diaby will start. They won’t mess around with him. He’ll be straight in the side alongside Ollie Watkins.”

In other Aston Villa news, newly promoted Burney have submitted a £12million offer for one of Villa’s best youth prospects.