Matija Sarkic was a staple on the Aston Villa bench near the end of the promotion — but that was mostly due to injuries to Nyland and Kalinic. Now he is looking to lead a first team on the field and will try to do so in Scotland.
.@SarkicMatija has today joined Scottish Premiership side Livingston on a season-long loan.— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) June 26, 2019
All the best, Matija.#AVFC pic.twitter.com/XJ8XsH1FAT
21-year-old Sarkic has had previous loans at Wigan, Stratford Town, and Havant & Waterlooville FC — but all were short term loans. This is the keeper’s first season-long venture at another club.
The move leaves Aston Villa with three first team options in goal — Nyland, Kalinic, and newly extended Jed Steer. Steer is likely to get the first look at the position because of his heroics leading the team back to the Premier League. Nyland is still out injured with a ruptured achilles. The original timeline given on the December injury by the club (so take with a grain of salt) was six months — so he could have a role in preseason. Kalinic — by all accounts — was declared healthy at the end last season but Steer kept the spot. It will be an interesting decision by Dean Smith.
And the summer rumors continue to link loads of different keepers to Aston Villa in the transfer market. But as for Sarkic — I wish him luck and hope he gets a run as first team keeper. I would have to imagine that was part of the conversation on his loan to Livingston to help him grow as a player.