The club’s hopes of Premier League survival have been dealt a huge hit by a pair of season-ending injuries
Tom Heaton and Wesley have each been ruled out for the remainder of the season with knee ligament damage, Aston Villa have confirmed.
The duo were carried off on stretchers in Villa’s New Year’s Day win at Burnley.
Heaton was injured attempting to keep out Chris Wood’s consolation, while a rugged Ben Mee challenge saw Wesley go down.
Wesley scored in the 27th minute against Burnley but unfortunately for Villa, that will be his final goal of the 2019-20 season.
Villa, who are a point clear of the Premier League relegation zone, announced on Friday neither player would be able to feature again before the end of the campaign.
“The Burnley win came at a cost and the cost is two key players. Both have significant knee injuries that rule them out for the rest of the season,” Villa manager Dean Smith said in his press conference on Friday.
“I’m very disappointed for them, personally,” Smith continued. “Tom is a player that I wanted to bring in at the start of the season. Premier League player, England goalkeeper, a great character in the dressing room and he’s proven that already.
“I feel for him and his family because he’d have been nailed on to go to the European Championships in the summer. Young Wesley, our record signing, came in with a lot of pressure on his shoulders.”
England international Heaton, a pre-season arrival from Burnley, has played in all but one league game for Villa this season.
Wesley, brought in from Club Brugge in the same window, earned a Brazil call-up earlier this term, having scored six times in all competitions.
After Villa spent a reported £22 million (€25m/$28m) on Wesley, Smith confirmed that the club would be looking for at least one and perhaps two strikers in the January transfer market.
“It will probably hasten what we do in the market,” Smith said. “I’ll sit down with them and see what we’re going to do and how quickly we’re going to do it.
“Our only fit striker at the club at the minute is Jonathan Kodija. Keinan Davis was training last week but he still felt a tightness in his hamstring.
“We’re certainly looking at centre forwards in the transfer market, but whether it’s one or two I’m not sure as of yet.”