By Villa News Speaking to Alan Hutton

24th Aug, 2023 | 2:34pm

Nicolo Zaniolo debut prediction emerges after Aston Villa complete signing for Italian ace

We’re delighted to welcome former Aston Villa full-back Alan Hutton as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Villa Park…

Alan Hutton expects Nicolo Zaniolo to be in the Aston Villa squad this weekend when Unai Emery’s side play against Burnley at Turf Moor.

Villa head to Lancashire on Sunday (27 August) on a high after winning 4-0 against Everton and 5-0 against Hibernian in their last two games.

They were without Zaniolo, 24, on Wednesday night (23 August) when they won away against Hibs in the Europa Conference League.

He signed for Villa on loan from Galatasaray last week after Emery made a move for the Italy international due to Emi Buendia’s potentially-season-ending knee injury.

Hutton is happy to see a direct replacement has been brought in for Buendia and he now expects Zaniolo to play this weekend against Vincent Kompany’s Burnley.

“It’s done now and he’s another outstanding technical footballer,” Hutton told Villa News.

Obviously, with Buendia missing for a long period of time – which I think is a shame – Zaniolo comes in to fit that mould.

He’s technically gifted, he can see a pass and he can give you that Buendia-like performance.

I presume that he’ll be in the squad [against Burnley on Sunday]. I’m looking forward to it.”

Zaniolo’s had a slow start to the season at Galatasaray.

He played in their 2-2 draw against Lithuanian side Zalgiris in the Champions League qualifiers on 25 July but missed the four games following due to a groin strain.

In other Aston Villa news, one “hungry” Villa player produced a masterclass in the 4-0 win against Everton.