Ezri Konsa will not be distracted by the reported interest from Liverpool and Tottenham, said Aston Villa boss Dean Smith, who praised the defender for his consistency this season
- The 23-year-old center-back signed with Brentford 18 months ago for £ 12million
- He has helped Villa clean 10 clean sheets in 20 Premier League games
- It has been reported that Liverpool and Spurs are monitoring the defender
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith isn’t surprised by speculation linking defender Ezri Konsa to a move to Liverpool or Tottenham.
Signed by Brentford for £ 12million 18 months ago, Konsa has been a standout player for Villa this season, helping them clean 10 clean sheets in 20 Premier League games.
Liverpool and Spurs have been reported to be monitoring the 23-year-old center-back while a senior English deployment was also discussed.
Aston Villa defender Ezri Konsa has been linked with a move to Liverpool or Tottenham
“Everyone can see that we have a good season so far and when the teams have a good season the players become connected with everyone,” said Smith, whose side will play Leicester at Villa Park on Sunday.
‘He’s one of our players who has been consistent this season. It’s his first real Premier League season, he’s been cutting mistakes, he’s been a consistent player for us and is at a level I know he can.
‘But there is certainly room for improvement in him. He is well aware of this and is enjoying himself at the moment so he is certainly not distracted by any links. ‘
Villa, eighth in the table with games in hand against their rivals, underperformed last week and was lucky enough to take a point out of a goalless draw in Brighton.
Signed by Brentford for £ 12million 18 months ago, Konsa was a standout artist for Villa
Smith said he expected a positive reaction from his players against Leicester, who returned from the Czech Republic mid-week after the first leg of the Europa League’s last 32 games against Slavia Prague ended goalless.
“I’m very confident because they have been doing this all season,” said Smith. ‘It’s very rare that we’ve played two games where we didn’t perform well.
“We have had a good week of training so far and will bring that into play on Sunday, but these players have responded very well to criticism or pressure from me.”
Villa boss Dean Smith expects his players to respond positively to Leicester
Smith, who will do without defender Matty Cash, has been wary of making tactical changes.
“I’ve always said that when players don’t play well or get injured, change happens,” he added.
‘Matty Cash obviously injured himself so I have a forced change there. We trained for a whole week so I’ll look at the squad and choose the team from there. ‘
Right-back Cash is out for three to four weeks with a thigh injury in Brighton.
Defender Kortney Home (foot) and striker Wesley (knee) are working their way back after a long-term injury.