By Villa News Speaking to Alan Hutton

3rd Nov, 2023 | 12:10pm

Unai Emery to axe Nicolo Zaniolo for Aston Villa clash v Nottingham Forest despite 'massive' view

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…

Unai Emery should drop Nicolo Zaniolo and start Leon Bailey when Aston Villa face Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Sunday 5 November, according to Alan Hutton.

Zaniolo, 24, was hooked off at half-time last Sunday (29 October) when the Villans won 3-1 against Luton Town at Villa Park in the Premier League.

Bailey, 26, replaced the Italian international and within a matter of minutes, he assisted Moussa Diaby’s goal.

Aston Villa head to the East Midlands this weekend to play Steve Cooper’s Forest.

Ahead of that game, Hutton said that despite being impressive by Zaniolo’s physical attributes, he believes that Bailey should replace him even though he tends to be inconsistent.

Speaking to Villa News, Hutton said: “It’s an interesting one.

I like what I’ve seen from Zaniolo. I wasn’t sure about him when he first came in but I met him when Villa played Hibs up in Edinburgh and he’s massive; he’s a big, really physical guy.

“I thought it took him a little bit of time to settle in but the more he plays, the more I think he’s going to get better and he’s going to understand how the manager wants to play.

On the other side of that, you’ve got Bailey, who’s been electric. He can give you something different, he can get in behind, he cuts in on his left and he’s very, very dangerous.

For me, I would play Bailey. But there’s a big question mark over his consistency – can he give you his best week in, week out or for an entire 90 minutes? He’s definitely got it in him so that’s the way I would head at this moment in time.”

Bailey has scored six goals and supplied four assists in 14 appearances across all competitions for Villa this season.

Five of those goal contributions have come in the Premier League but he’s only been named in two of Emery’s starting line-ups in the league.

In other Aston Villa news, a £50million transfer claim has been made about Douglas Luiz amid recent speculation.