Opinion

Will Aston Villa Utilise Youth or Loans?

The painted picture seems to get a little more skewed by the day for supporters of Aston Villa. There is so much in the air at this point and the supporters are starting to froth at the mouth at what the starting eleven may look like come August. Rumours have been circulating about many Aston Villa players and who may or may not be the names on the transfer list. The financial situation at Aston Villa has been made public in the last week and all signs point towards a mass exodus high-wage earners. The rumours have almost turned into a question of who won’t be sold, rather than who will be sold.

While there are many unknowns right now surrounding the Claret & Blue, there is one that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. In the event that squad players and important first team players are sold, will Aston Villa try to bolster the squad with some of their youth prospects or will Steve Bruce dive into the loan market once again?

You will be hard pressed to find a better crop of loan players coming into a club than Aston Villa had last year. West Ham man Robert Snodgrass played a pivotal role in the entirety of the season for Villa with many supporters yearning for a return this year. If that wasn’t enough, Lewis Grabban joined Villa in the January transfer window from Sunderland. Grabban would end the season with a staggering 20 goals to his name, and eight goals for Villa. Other loans for Villa last season included Axel Tuanzebe and Sam Johnstone from Manchester United and Joshua Onomah from Tottenham Hotspur. No one could have foreseen what impact a large majority of these loans would have on the squad. There has been lots of talk over the past week about exactly how much Tony Xia and Steve Bruce gambled on achieving promotion this year. While all of those footballers played well for Villa when the club needed them to, it would be a major ask financially for Villa to bring in the same quality of loan players.

Most Villa supporters are well aware of the quality of the youth prospects within the club. There is a good number of skilful and intelligent players coming through the ranks at Aston Villa. Supporters clamoured all last season to see young Callum O’Hare thrust into first team action. Andre Green has been seen as the ‘next kid up’ at Villa before his hamstring injury last season. Jake Doyle-Hayes has been making remarkable progress in the U23’s, as well. James Bree proved to some supporters on a few occasions that he is ready to step up into a starting role with the first-team squad at right-back, too. With all of that in mind, Steve Bruce does not seem like the type of manager to push young talent into the starting eleven on a whim. That may all change after Villa unload some of their higher paid players. If Villa are to solidify the depth at positions through the loan market, here are a few players Villa may want to take a look at.

Players that Aston Villa could Target on Loan

Cameron Carter-Vickers, Tottenham Hotspur

This name may seem familiar to those of you who are keeping up with the Jack Grealish transfer rumor saga going on. There has been reports that Tottenham have launched inquiry that would see a transfer fee and a few loans coming the way of Villa in exchange for Grealish. Cameron Carter-Vickers has been named as one of those players that Tottenham would send to Villa on loan. Carter-Vickers is a 20 year old centre-back that has showed signs that he may develop into quite a formidable defender. The American started in the USA National Team’s friendly against France this past¬†Saturday.

The young centre-back had a good game for the USA until a slip caused France to level the score line at one-all in the 78th minute . Carter-Vickers is still 20 years old after all and still has a bit of coming into his own to do. While the USA supporters were quick to lash out at the player for his error on Twitter, it will be later rather than sooner that they will start to appreciate what a promising centre-back he is. The young Tottenham player was on loan last year to Ipswich Town and played in 14 matches for the Tractor Boys.

Krystian Bielik, Arsenal

In January 2015, the Gunners paid £2.4 million for Bielik but the Polish-born defender has not had the chance gain first-team action. Since signing with the Gunners, Bielik has been on loan on two occasions to Birmingham City in 2017 and League One outfit Walsall in 2018. Bielik did a mediocre job at his time at Birmingham City, starting 10 games for the Blues but only contributing to one clean sheet. Beilik sustained an injury last season that sidelined him for a large majority of the campaign. After returning from the injury and being dispatched to Walsall on loan, he found himself injured once again and never made an appearance for the League One side.

While this seems like a detrement to a 20-year old’s appeal, Bielik has been praised by Arsenal supporters that he could have just as much potential as other young and promising defenders at their own club. This past season was supposed to be the season where Bielik stepped up for Arsenal, but Aston Villa would heavily benefit from acquiring him for the upcoming season. Aston Villa does not have the mightiest of depth at the centre-back position at the moment after the departure of John Terry and reports circulating that Tommy Elphick may be on his way to Reading on a permanent deal.

Harry Wilson, Liverpool

There are a lot of teams who are lining up to acquire the services of this young Liverpool winger. The 21-year old Wilson was on loan to Hull City this past season, and left his mark on the hearts of all Tigers supporters. In 14 appearances for Hull City, Wilson scored seven goals. With multiple reports that Hull are definitely in the mix of bringing the young starlet back to the KCOM Stadium for another tour of duty, they’re going to have to fend off interest from other clubs such as Villa, Huddersfield, and Leeds United just to name a few.

The departure of Robert Snodgrass back to West Ham means that Villa absolutely need a right-winger for this season. Wilson may spring to be loaned out to a Premier League club, but Villa supporters know the importance of getting someone in the door that can have an immediate impact in the wide position. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that he believes Wilson still needs a bit more development before he utilizes him in the starting eleven so it sounds like Wilson is definitely available for loan. If Villa are to shed some players to shore up the finances of the club, a player like Wilson could very well step in and do a proper job for a club that still wants to challenge for promotion this coming season.

Words by Mark Jirobe (@VillaMarkPGH) // Follow us on Twitter @claretandview

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