Nicolo Zaniolo investigation result predicted as Aston Villa star tipped to continue in Unai Emery XI
Nicolo Zaniolo will remain in the Aston Villa starting lineup over Leon Bailey despite a middling performance against West Ham, according to Ty Bracey.
Zaniolo started the Villans’ 4-1 thumping of David Moyes’ side, but he struggled to have an impact on the game. Per SofaScore, the Italian managed just 35 touches, 0.02 expected goals, one shot (off target) and only 18 passes at Villa Park on Sunday (22 October) before being hauled off for Bailey in the 76th minute.
The Jamaican went on to score Villa’s fourth and final goal in a home win which pushed them to fifth in the Premier League, but amid his continued investigation into alleged breaches of betting rules too, Zaniolo struggled to have an impact.
Bracey claims that the 24-year-old is not distracted by the allegations, but needs his first Villa goal to finally “start flying” in claret and blue.
Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bracey said: “I don’t think Zaniolo was distracted. He’s been playing good football but he just needs to get that first goal and once he does that he’ll start flying.
“I’m happy with either him or Bailey starting, but he’ll stick with Zaniolo. Bailey’s always good at Villa Park. I’m pretty confident that Zaniolo hasn’t done anything wrong [in terms of gambling allegations], so fingers crossed it’s one of those that gets nipped in the bud.
“He was okay against West Ham, he was in the right places and attempting to do the right things. That’s all that matters, he’s doing what’s expected from Unai Emery. He’s unlucky at times but he just needs to find the back of the net.”
In other Aston Villa news, a pundit has blasted Villa players and told them not to complain as fresh a Castore update emerged.