Aston Villa boss Emery feels Duran ready for Premier League demands
Aston Villa boss Unai Emery feels Jhon Duran is ready for the Premier League.
Though Emery is wary of placing too much pressure on his shoulders, Villa's failure to sign an experienced replacement for Danny Ings means the youngster will be needed over the second half of the season, with Ollie Watkins now the club's only recognised senior striker.
The boss explained: “We are not putting him (Duran) under pressure. But I have spoken with him about the future.
“The future is today, it is tomorrow – as soon as possible is better. He has trained very well and has potential.
“We might see that potential in two weeks, maybe one month, maybe one year. But we are going to work to use him to try to help us now."
Villa fought off competition from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United to secure Duran's signature for a fee which could eventually be worth £18m.
Emery, who watched clips of the Colombia international prior to his signing, has now had the chance to see him up close in training.
He said: “He was playing in the MLS and it is not the same. The Premier League is possibly the best league in the world and he is now going to face better defenders.
“But he has potential. We are only going to know it trying to improve him each session and giving him responsibility on the pitch.
“His mind is strong and I think he is ready to take the responsibility and opportunity. He is in the squad. He is going to play maybe with Watkins or perhaps replacing him, it depends. He is ready to play, to help us."