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Villa's Crespo returns to Spain

Aston Villa's Jose Angel Crespo has joined Rayo Vallecano on loan for the season after struggling to establish himself at Villa Park.

The left-back was signed from Cordoba by former Villa boss Tim Sherwood in July but made just two appearances before Garde was appointed as Sherwood's replacement in November.

Crespo, 28, will return to Spain with Rayo Vallecano - currently 18th in La Liga - and could feature against Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Garde was without full-backs Leo Bacuna and Alan Hutton as Villa eventually got past Wycombe Wanderers in their FA Cup third-round replay at Villa Park on Tuesday.

The Villa boss is keen to strengthen his side - currently bottom of the Premier league - and handed young midfielder Jordan Lyden a first start among a number of changes against the League Two outfit.

"We are in a difficult run with four games in 12 days," he explained. "I wanted to rest some players because I don't want to lose them through injury.

"The team I started tonight was a good team. There were good players and we should have done better.

"Leo Bacuna was a little bit injured - like Alan Hutton."