Jores Okore’s debut season in England could already be over, after Aston Villa confirmed the summer signing has suffered a serious knee injury.
Paul Lambert has high hopes for the 21-year-old defender, having splashed out £4million to lure him from FC Nordsjaelland ahead of the current season. Despite his young age, the player already has experience of the UEFA Champions League with his former club, and he has seven international caps for Denmark after making his debut against Sweden in November 2011.
Okore, who has been handed the number five shirt at Villa, has been given a steady introduction to the Premier League, and watched from the bench as his new team-mates beat Arsenal 3-1 on the opening day of the season. He then made his debut as a substitute in the 2-1 loss at Chelsea, but he has started the last two matches against Liverpool and Newcastle United.
It was in the latter when he pulled up after half-an-hour, following a collision with Magpies striker Loic Remy. Okore limped off the Villa Park turf with Lambert fearing the worst, and it has now been confirmed the youngster faces up to nine months on the sidelines.
A club statement on Monday evening read: “Following clinical examination and the results of an MRI scan, the club can confirm that Jores Okore sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament injury in his right knee in the game against Newcastle on Saturday. Jores will undergo surgery in due course and he could be sidelined for a period of up to nine months.”
That opening day win at the Emirates Stadium looked to have signalled the start of a promising campaign for Villa, but they have lost all three matches since. Having battled relegation for much of last season, supporters now fear they could face another fight against the drop this term, and the loss of Okore is a blow to a back four which has conceded six goals in four games.