By Villa News Speaking to Alan Hutton

26th Oct, 2023 | 8:10am

Jhon Duran could be omitted from Aston Villa starting XI v AZ Alkmaar as image emerges amid fall-out speculation

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 has mooted the possibility of Unai Emery leaving Jhon Duran out of the Aston Villa starting line-up to play AZ Alkmaar in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.

Duran, 19, wasn’t in the squad that beat West Ham on Sunday (22 October) but he was with the squad as they jetted out to the Netherlands to play AZ on 26 October.

This comes after Colombian news outlet Noticias RCN reported on Monday (23 October) that Duran is in a dispute with the Premier League club after being left out of the side against the Hammers.

Hutton has wondered whether Duran could be omitted from the starting line-up to play against AZ if something fairly serious has happened behind the scenes.

However, the ex-defender would like to see the Colombia striker start in the Netherlands.

“Duran’s played in all the European games, that’s been his time to shine,” Hutton told Villa News.

I’d like to think that he will [start versus AZ] depending on what’s happened.

We’re just speculating here – has he had a fallout? If he has then it could be bigger than what we’re saying, it could be bigger than just one game.

We don’t know what’s happened but I’d like to see him come back into the team.

It’s a big one for Villa, they have to win and hopefully Duran can get on the scoresheet again.

These are the opportunities he has to take when he’s given them.”

Duran has scored four goals in 11 appearances this season.

He’s scored two of those goals in the Europa Conference League with one being against Hibernian in the qualifying play-off and another coming against Legia Warsaw last month.

In other Aston Villa news, the ball is in this player’s court after a reported behind-the-scenes bust-up with Unai Emery.