Aston Villa's rapid £15m transfer progression has even Unai Emery stunned

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Unai Emery has been shocked by the speedy progression of an Aston Villa transfer.

Unai Emery has been pleasantly surprised by the rapid adaptation of Aston Villa’s winter addition Morgan Rogers.

Signed from Middlesbrough in January for a fee of £8 million that could rise to £15 million with add-ons, Rogers arrived with great potential but not many could have foreseen the instant success. The versatile forward has been a huge hit at Villa Park, with three goals and one assist in just 614 Premier League minutes.

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Already a four-time appearance maker in the UEFA Europa Conference League, Rogers has enjoyed a consistent spot in the starting lineup due to an injury sustained by Jacob Ramsey. The run could continue next campaign too if the momentum remains, with some splendid competition at left midfield.

Villa had to work hard to sign Rogers as negotiations with Middlesbrough reached several stalls but an agreement was eventually reached. Emery, a key figure in pinpointing Rogers as a priority target to fit his team’s philosophy, couldn’t be happy with how the transfer has panned out.

Emery is excited by Rogers' early Villa impact.Emery is excited by Rogers' early Villa impact.
Emery is excited by Rogers' early Villa impact. | Getty Images

“He’s helping us more than the expectation we have,” Emery said after Villa’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea. “It’s because his adaptation has been very quick and his qualities in our structure really are necessary to add. He’s being really competitive in every position I am trying to play with him – as a 10 number, eight number, inside or outside,” Emery explained with a smile.

Rogers’ form could harm Zaniolo's chances

The rapid rise of Rogers may interfere with another of Villa’s transfer dealings. Nicolo Zaniolo, signed temporarily from Galatasaray in the summer with an option to buy, wasn’t expected to be purchased at the end of his loan but an upturn in form has thrust the situation into doubt.

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Emery has been impressed by the Italian’s work rate and recent performances and there could be scope for the deal to turn permanent for around £19 million.

But if Rogers’ progression continues at its current rate, there may be no need to sign Zaniolo, especially with Ramsey and Emiliano Buendia on the books.

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