Date: 2nd January 2020 at 6:00pm
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It’s not only a new month, we’re now halfway through the current 2019/20 campaign and we find ourselves in a New Year – so with a number of Aston Villa players out on loan, the question is, how are they doing and do any of them deserve a recall to become an option for head coach Dean Smith as we look for a stronger end to the season given our more recent dip.

With our better performances behind us now, and plenty of questions being asked about recent showings, some of our youngsters out on loan are having a bit of a better time of things with their respective temporary clubs and here’s how they are getting ahead of the first games of 2020.

Matija Sarkic made the trip up north to Scottish side Livingston and after a slow start where he only featured in the Scottish League Cup (and impressed), he’s now taken over in their Scottish Premiership campaign. He boasts 18 starts with seven clean sheets – one of which came against reigning Champions Celtic. During the last international break he also made his friendly debut for the Montenegro national side.

Andre Green got another crack at the Championship having joined Preston North End and he’s now made two EFL Cup starts, returning a goal – with four additional substitute showings in the league. He had one appearance to his name in October but didn’t appear across November. Gaffer Alex Neil has previously spoken about both competition being a problem for him, as well as further injury issues, but given he still hasn’t appeared over December this smells of a recall and a loan out elsewhere a the spell can only be described as a disaster given the high hopes we had for the 21-year-old.

Jake Doyle-Hayes headed to League Two for a spell with Cheltenham Town and he’s now made 24 starting appearances (one substitute showing) for them across all competitions, returning his debut goal in their victory over Bradford City in mid-September.

James Bree got another crack at the Championship with a loan spell to Luton Town, and he’s already made 22 starting appearances for them, with one further showing from the bench.

Callum O’Hare headed to Coventry City and the ironic Trillion Trophy Stadium and he’s now made 14 starts across all competitions, with an additional ten appearances from the bench. He opened his goalscoring account for them in 3-3 draw with Oxford United, and added a second as they took victory over Blackpool. He made that three goals in their recent FA Cup clash against Ipswich Town.

Rushian Hepburn-Murphy also headed out to League One, but to Tranmere Rovers and he certainly had an impact on his debut – he saw a straight red card. Having long served his suspension, he’s made eleven starts and eleven substitute showings in total. Across those games he’s now returned five goals – including a hattrick against MK Dons back in early November.

Finally, Scott Hogan made the switch to Stoke City and he’s made five starts across all competitions with ten additional substitute showings. He opened his account for them with a brace against Derby County in their league clash in mid-August and he added a further goal against Swansea City in early October.

Stats accurate pre-New Year’s Day games because I forgot to stick this on timer!

That’s your lot – for now – and we see if anyone returns, or if anyone else heads out this month.

From what I can tell, the only two likely to return if Smith wants additional first team options would be Bree and O’Hare.

First Team Shot For?

Callum O'Hare

Callum O'Hare

James Bree

James Bree

Andre Green (We Know What He Can Offer)

Andre Green (We Know What He Can Offer)

Scott Hogan (Give Wesley Some Competition)

Scott Hogan (Give Wesley Some Competition)

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