By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

20th Nov, 2023 | 5:10pm

Dan Bardell: Ezri Konsa now 'complete' player after losing way under Steven Gerrard

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports journalist Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

Unai Emery has turned Ezri Konsa into the “complete” defender after he previously lost his way under Steven Gerrard, according to Dan Bardell.

The 26-year-old has been excellent for Villa since working his way back into the side since the Spaniard arrived at the club in October 2022.

His impressive form in the heart of the Villans defence this season has seen him earn his first call-up to the England squad during the current international break.

Bardell believes Konsa has taken on more of a leadership role at Villa Park this season to make up for the loss of the injured Tyrone Mings.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell said: “He kind of lost his way a little bit under Steven Gerrard, but he wasn’t alone in that, the whole club was pretty much a mess under Gerrard. But from the day Emery came in, I think he’s started every Premier League game and he’s played to a really high standard.

“He’s actually unlocked new things in his game that we hadn’t really seen before as well, in terms of his ball progression in bringing the ball out from the defence.

“He didn’t play it safe before, but these weren’t really things that you saw from him and he’s kind of developed alongside Emery now as this complete centre-back. If you’re looking to tick things off that a modern-day centre-back can do, Konsa can do everything.

“He’s quick so he’s got that recovery speed, he’s versatile as he can play fullback if needed, he’s good on the ball and can play himself out of tight situations. He can also buy fouls, which is an underrated skill to have as a defender.

“He’s almost had to take on a bit of a leadership role with Tyrone Mings being injured and he’s even managed to tick that off.” 

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