Aston Villa

Hatfield drops big claim on Villa youngsters

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Midlands journalist Luke Hatfield believes that Aston Villa have high hopes for Louie Barry, and a number of other youngsters within their academy.

The club have a production line of talent in the Midlands and have recently sold Jack Grealish, the poster boy of their academy, for a British record £100m to Manchester City.

Headlines were grabbed when Villa essentially played their U23s in an FA Cup clash with a full-strength Liverpool team; Barry scored the opening goal in a 4-1 defeat.

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The youngster came through the youth ranks at bitter rivals West Bromwich Albion before making a move to Barcelona, and then joining Villa.

While Hatfield thinks the club have placed a great deal of stock in Barry’s development, he believes that the likes of Carney Chukwuemeka and Jaden Philogene-Bidace are currently ahead of him in the pecking order.

And that may well explain Villa’s willingness to let Barry join Ipswich Town on loan in the summer transfer window.

Hatfield said: “Obviously a little bit of acrimony in the way he was brought in. He left West Brom for Barcelona and then was very quickly shipped off to Villa, but ultimately, on the pitch, he looks like a really exciting prospect and someone who could have a future at the club if he continues to improve.

“There are a couple of Villa players ahead of him in terms of those around his age group, the likes of Carney Chukwuemeka, Jaden Philogene-Bidace, those are the players who I think Villa are looking at, Jacob Ramsey of course, and his brother Aaron Ramsey are two players who I think Villa really like as well.”

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