Aston Villa journalist Pat Rowe has given his thoughts on the future prospects of youngster Carney Chukwuemeka following his recent Premier League appearance.
The 18-year-old has slowly been making his way into the first-team picture at Villa Park in the past few months, making a few cameo appearances in the Premier League last season as he made his first league start in the clash against Brentford back in August, whilst also making inroads by playing in the Carabao Cup this campaign.
He recently came on in their game against Manchester City, playing just over 20 minutes against the reigning league champions and managed to put himself about, making one tackle, seven passes and registering a shot on target (via WhoScored).
And speaking on the latest edition of the Claret and Blue podcast, Rowe hinted that based on the fact Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard was willing to show so much faith in him by giving him an extended spell against such big opposition, it could very well be that Chukwuemeka will have a more important role in the side moving forward.
He said: “There’s been the rumours circulating about him and his contract and whatnot. But he’s got 18 months on his deal and Gerrard’s shown he’s got that much faith in him that he’ll play him against Man City for a fairly lengthy amount of time. So if he’s going to do that, he’ll probably be in line to start if he continues to impress.”
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There certainly is logic to what Rowe is suggesting when he talks about Chukwuemeka’s role against Manchester City. It was a pretty significant decision by Gerrard to put him on rather than someone more experience such as Anwar El Ghazi or Morgan Sanson, who were both on the bench when Chukwuemeka was brought on.
So it will be interesting to see if Gerrard decides to use him more going forward and whether or not this is the start of a new promising youngster coming through the ranks at Villa Park, or if this was just a one-off situation where he thought he was the better option on the day.
But as Rowe points out, he does only have 18 months left on his contract, so playing him might be a good way to convince him to stay away from the prying eyes of some of the other clubs in the Premier League who have reportedly taken an interest in him.