FORMER Middlesbrough loanee Cameron Archer looks set to stay at Aston Villa for the coming Premier League season, with the striker part of Unai Emery's plans as things stand.

Archer enjoyed a hugely impressive stint on loan with Boro in the second half of last season, scoring 11 goals in 20 games.

Boro are still in the market for at least one striker this summer and would love to have re-signed Archer if possible, with Stoke City also keen, but Emery says squad depth will be key for Villa as they plan for a tilt at the Europa Conference League and Archer is part of his striker pool.

Plenty of clubs have been monitoring Archer's situation over the course of the summer.

After two successful loan spells in the Championship with Preston and Boro, a loan move to a bottom end Premier League side appeared a possibility if his parent club still felt he wasn't quite ready to play a part at Villa Park. Had Villa wanted to ensure that Archer was going to play regularly, however, a Boro return might have appealed.

If Villa had decided to cash in this summer, Archer - a highly-rated England Under-21 international - would almost certainly have cost too much for any Championship club.

As it stands, however, Emery says Archer has a role to play for Villa this coming campaign.

Villa are preparing for a hectic season which is likely to involve playing more than 50 games after qualifying for Europe. And while Ollie Watkins will be Emery's first choice centre-forward, the Spanish boss knows he needs cover and competition for his leading striker, which is why he says he wants to keep Archer and Jhon Duran at Villa Park.

Colombian striker Duran joined Villa for a deal worth up to £18m from Chicago Fire in January and has been linked with a loan move to Espanyol, but Emery ruled that move out and appeared to confirm that as things stand he won't be sanctioning loan exits for any frontmen.

"We are not speaking about the possibility of him going on loan," said Emery of Duran.

"He's a player we will need because he is our second striker with Cameron Archer and we have to use both as well and we have to give them chances to help us, but it’s not a possibility for Jhon Duran to go on loan, it’s to stay here."


Emery's plans for Archer could potentially change if Villa sign another centre-forward, and, if he does stay, like last season, clubs will be monitoring his progress to keep a check on whether there'd be any possibility of a January loan.

One striker who does look set to leave Villa is Keinan Davis, with Luton Town and several Championship clubs keen on the 25-year-old. Villa are said to value Davis at around £7m.

While Emery is clear on his plans for Archer as things stand, the future of fellow ex-Boro loanee Aaron Ramsey is not as certain. The 20-year-old missed Boro's run-in because of an ankle injury that ultimately ruled him out of the World Cup with England's Under-20s.

Ramsey is highly rated by Villa but is a season behind Archer in terms of his development. Last year was his first taste of Championship football and while he impressed with both Norwich and Boro, both spells were disrupted by injury.