Football: Villa lean on Pisa to land Larsen

Click to follow
The Independent Online
ASTON VILLA's spirited challenge for the Premier League title may have highlighted the abundance of midfield talent at Ron Atkinson's disposal, but there is still room for improvement. That much was made clear yesterday when they signed the experienced Dane, Henrik Larsen, on loan from the Italian club, Pisa.

This represented a climbdown by Pisa, who had originally demanded that Villa pay pounds 100,000 to keep Larsen for the rest of the season. Capped 24 times by his country, Larsen was an important member of the side that won last year's European Championship.

Meanwhile, Villa's leading scorer of last season, Dwight Yorke, overshadowed since the arrival of Dean Saunders last September, will face Bristol Rovers in tonight's FA Cup third-round replay at Twerton Park even if the striker for whom he has recently been deputising, Dalian Atkinson, recovers from a groin strain. Should he do so, Yorke may be deployed in midfield or on the wing.

Although his club are struggling to avoid relegation to the Second Division, the Rovers manager, Malcolm Allison, warned: 'We have one or two little things up our sleeve which I think will surprise Villa.' Perhaps in defence, where, if he overcomes a hamstring injury, the left-back Vaughan Jones will slot in on the opposite flank in place of the suspended Ian Alexander, with Paul Hardyman dropping back from midfield to fill Jones's customary role.

Comments