Davies' transfer to Villa will not be derailed by injury lay-off

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Central defender Curtis Davies' move from West Bromwich Albion to Aston Villa will be made permanent in the summer despite the player now facing a lengthy lay-off through injury.

Davies moved from the Hawthorns to Villa in August for an initial season-long loan before being due to make the switch permanent this summer in an £8m deal.

Now he is resigned to spending at least six months on the sidelines after rupturing an Achilles tendon during the first half of Saturday's 1-1 draw with Arsenal in the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium.

However the transfer is due to go through and Davies will become a Villa player in May even though it could be October before he is in a position to play football again.

The West Bromwich manager, Tony Mowbray, confirmed: "Is the Curtis Davies deal affected in any way by his injury? No."

The deal is similarly structured to the one which saw goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak move from Albion to Manchester United on a year-long loan in 2006 before moving permanently to Old Trafford.

Mowbray is confident Davies will have the strength of character to recover from his latest injury setback. "Curtis is a top player," he said, "and at this moment rightly playing in the Premier League and doing very well for a club that is doing well.

"We wish him all the best and his character belies his age. I am sure he has got the strength to overcome this setback. I am sure we will see him laughing and smiling in the next few weeks, getting his head around the situation, and being totally focused on getting fit. If anyone can work through a bad injury, it will be someone of Curtis' personality and determination."

Scott Carson has urged Villa to bounce back from the disappointment of conceding a last-minute equaliser at Arsenal. "We have to use Saturday's performance as a platform for the last 10 games of the season," he said.

Carson looked set to keep a clean sheet at the Emirates until Nicklas Bendtner's late goal gave the Gunners a point.

"We were gutted to concede with basically the last kick of the game, after being defensively solid for 90 minutes," Carson said. "It was probably the best we've played for a few weeks and to get an ending like that was hard to take. We went into the dressing room after the game as if we'd been beaten 5-0.

"I had a few saves to make, but I said when I came here that I want to show what a good keeper I am."

The Birmingham midfielder Sebastian Larsson believes a fully fit Mikael Forssell would be playing for one of the top teams in the Premier League.

Forssell has been dogged by injury problems since he scored 19 goals for Birmingham during the 2003-04 season when on loan from Chelsea before the move became permanent.

But the Finland international gave a glimpse of his pedigree when netting his first hat-trick for the club during Saturday's 4-1 win over Tottenham at St Andrew's.

Larsson, who played at Arsenal during Thierry Henry's spell at the club, said: "Mikael is a quality player and I would go as far as to say he's one of the best finishers I have seen – and I've played with a few.

"As a finisher in front of goal, he's unbelievable. He's fit and getting a few games under his belt and we can see the benefit for Birmingham.

"There is no doubt a fully fit Mikael Forssell could play for one of the very top teams. Have his injuries enabled Birmingham to keep hold of him? Probably, yes.

"When he was first here, he banged in 19 goals in one season and that says it all about him. Mikael is quality and hopefully he's coming back to that now.

"I think that takes him up to seven or eight goals for the season which isn't too bad considering the number of games he's started. As long as he can stay fresh and fit, if you create chances for him, he's going to score. It's as simple as that. He's just got to continue now, stay fit, get a few more games under his belt, and hopefully keep producing a few goals for us."

Forssell's current contract is up in the summer but Birmingham could take up a two-year option on him. That will be in stark contrast to last summer when Forssell felt his days at the club were numbered and looked set to move to Hanover.