By Villa News Speaking to Alan Hutton

20th Sep, 2023 | 8:40pm

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 doesn’t see Alex Moreno starting against Legia Warsaw on Thursday despite the Aston Villa left-back recently returning from injury.

Moreno, 30, is yet to play for Villa this season but Unai Emery did name the January signing from Real Betis on the bench in the 3-1 win over Crystal Palace at the weekend.

However, Hutton doesn’t believe that Moreno’s inclusion in the squad means that he’s ready to start, with the Scottish pundit suggesting instead that the Spaniard is more likely to be a second-half substitute for Lucas Digne in the Conference League group stage clash in Poland.

“I don’t know where he’s at in terms of [his fitness],” Hutton told Villa News.

Obviously, he’s ready to play – but is he ready to play 60 to 90 minutes? I don’t know so it would depend on that factor on whether he starts or comes on as a sub.

Digne has done well and this could be an opportunity for Moreno, whether it is 20 minutes at the end or from the start.

We’ll have to wait and see what Emery comes up with but as I say, it’s a good opportunity for the squad in general to really push each other for minutes.”

Moreno replaced Digne as Villa’s first-choice left-back after his arrival from Real Betis in January.

He played in all but one of Aston Villa’s Premier League games between 13 January (he signed on 11 January) and the end of the campaign, missing just the final match against Brighton on 28 May.

Digne, however, has come in this season and done well so there’s unlikely to be a rush to get Moreno back into the fold with the Frenchman clearly improving due to the increased competition.

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