Unai Emery Plans Talks on Returning World Cup Finalist Against Liverpool


Aston Villa manager Unai Emery plans to hold talks with Amy Martinez after the World Cup final, hoping he will return to face Liverpool.

This is a different approach than the one used by Jurgen Klopp, as he gives each of his players at the World Cup at least a week after the end of the tournament.

But it speaks to Martinez’s importance to Villa as they prepare for their first game back in the Premier League when they host Liverpool on Boxing Day.

According to the Mail, Emery will contact his number 1 after Sunday’s final between Argentina and France to “assess his state of mind” with a view to his return on December 26.

This would require Martinez to return to training in advance, which would shorten any break after the final, limiting any celebrations or recovery time.

He will also be seen trying to adapt quickly to a new style of play, with midfielder Amy Buendia telling the Birmingham Mail that Emery “explained very well what he wants to do for us” at half-time.

Martinez played a key role on Argentina’s path to the final, especially in the penalty shootout victory over the Netherlands in the quarterfinals when he deflected shots from Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berguis.

He is also an important player for Villa, although he has only saved four dry matches in 16 matches this season.

If he does not show up on Boxing Day, Emery is likely to replace former Everton loanee Robin Olsen, while Jed Steer, who finished third, will remain in reserve.

Unlike Villa, who are no longer involved in the League Cup, Liverpool are in action before the meeting at Villa Park, which gives Emery’s team more time to focus on the league match.

Boubacar Camara has recovered from injury during the World Cup break, but Villa are expected to be without Diego Carlos and Philippe Coutinho.


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