Laursen out for season

The 28-year-old had surgery in the United States on Wednesday in a bid to cure the problem and David O'Leary has since told the official club website: "I’ve spoken to our physio Alan Smith and he has confirmed we will not see Martin in action this season. It is a blow but it is one I was prepared for. I was looking at him in pre-season thinking he was not 100 per cent."

O'Leary bolstered Villa's defence by signing Wilfred Bouma from PSV Eindhoven, and we will have to hope his comically inept performance at left-back on Monday was simply an aberration. The gauche Liam Ridgewell has lined up alongside Olof Mellberg thus far, while the impressive Gary Cahill is still awaiting his first-team bow, and Villa’s options look a little limited.


But for Laursen it is the latest blow since his £3m transfer from AC Milan last summer. He has played just 13 times due to ongoing problems with his knee and his only first-team appearance during the current campaign was on the opening-day draw against
Bolton.