Opinion

When is the Right Time for Easah Suliman?

For what seems to have been a number of years, Aston Villa fans have heard wonderful things about young defender Easah Suliman. But that’s exactly the problem. Hearing about how good a young player is, but not seeing the end product.

Suliman has represented England at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-19 levels, and is noted for being the first player of Asian heritage to captain an England football side.

Easah Suliman has the resume, so why is he not playing?

On an international stage, Easah Suliman has gone from strength to strength. He captained the England U-16’s at a tournament in 2014, and also captained England at U-17 level against the Faroe Islands.

Last year, Easah Suliman started every game at centre back in England’s trophy lifting campaign in the 2017 UEFA European U-19 Championship, as well as popping up with a goal against Portugal in the tournament.

So why, at the age of 20, is Easah Suliman struggling to get into Aston Villa’s first team squad?

Granted last season he had to face stiff competition from England great John Terry and Welsh international James Chester, towering centre-back Christopher Samba and at times Tommy Elphick, but realistically during times where Terry or Samba were injured, Suliman could have quite easily found himself on the bench.

Instead he was sent on loan for a second successive season. In 2017 he was sent on loan to Cheltenham Town for, where he made nine appearances, and last year found himself at Grimsby Town where he only appeared twice.

The above seems to be an unfortunate trend for Aston Villa – sending promising youngsters away on loan and allowing them to stagnate before releasing them.

If you look elsewhere, Everton’s Tom Davies has appeared for England at U-19 level alongside Easah Suliman, and found himself regularly appearing for a Premier League side last season.

The argument is usually that if a player is good enough, he is old enough. Playing alongside an experienced head in the form of James Chester could do Easah the world of good. It would have done him the world of good to shadow John Terry rather than moving to Grimsby.

Soon enough, like most youth prospects at Aston Villa, it’ll be now or never for Easah Suliman. Realistically he could quite easily bed himself into the squad if given the opportunity, especially with the departure of Terry and Samba and the current lack of funds.

Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy) // Follow us on Twitter (@claretandview)

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