Four things we spotted from Aston Villa’s first days of pre-season including return of an unfamiliar face

A large chunk of the Aston Villa squad returned to Bodymoor Heath this week to begin preparations ahead of another gruelling Premier League campaign.

A large chunk of the Aston Villa squad returned to Bodymoor Heath this week to begin preparations ahead of another gruelling Premier League campaign.

Those not there include Philippe Coutinho and Boubacar Kamara. Both remain absent until next week along with the rest of those that have had international commitments over the last month or so.

It will be this coming weekend when the full team get back together and head out to Australia for the first ever Queensland Champions Cup pre-season tour but for those that returned on Monday - the hardwork has already begun.

New signing Diego Carlos is among the current group back at Bodymoor Heath along with veteran Ashley Young who recently had his contracted extended for a further year at Villa Park.

So, from those that are back and putting in the graft, here’s four things we’ve noticed including the return of a (un)familiar face.

Brazilian bromance

Diego Carlos has arrived at Bodymoor Heath and he’s already finding a lot of love from his new teammates, none more so than from felow Brazilian Douglas Luiz.

The two shared a hug and a moment together when they first saw each other before having a good old natter in their native language.

Carlos doesn’t speak English as of yet and is admittedly being helped around the place a lot by Luiz.

You look familiar?

The return of an (un)familiar face in Frederic Guilbert - remember him?

French right-back Guilbert has spent the majority of his Villa career out on loan since he arrived in 2019.

Last year he played out the entire season away with Ligue 1 side Strasbourg, impressing greatly during his time there.

The 27-year-old is back in and amongst pre-season training at Bodymoor Heath with Steven Gerrard geting his first look at the full-back.

With a year left on his contract at Villa Park, could we see an unlikely mini-revival under the new boss?

New boy wonder

Cameron Archer is back amongst it following an impressive loan-spell with Preston North End and then his even more impressive post-season with England’s young lions.

The strikers union is in full swing as Archer, Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins have been pictured training together as a trio on a number of occasions both on and off the pitch.

Whilst you can’t look too much into it, it’s already looking likely that those three will be working with each other a lot this summer and the signs are pointing towards Archer sticking around with the first team this coming season.

Ezri Konsa ahead of schedule

When Konsa went down with that horrific looking injury against Crystal Palace, people feared the worst.

Even as latterly as the final press conferece of the season, Gerrard admitted that pre-season will probably come too soon for the centre-back.

However, the defender is back and looking stronger than ever ahead of schedule which is great news all round.

It’s still unknown whether or not he will make the trip to Australia or continue rehab at Bodymoor Heath but either way, it’s a positive update on the 24-year-old.

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