Opinion

Aston Villa’s Best Young Talents According to Football Manager 2019

Football Manager 2019 has seen an improvement to a number of young Aston Villa stars. We took a look at who our best young talents are according to the popular simulation game.
Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)

The Beta for Football Manager 2019 has been out for just under a week, and we’ve finally had the chance to sit down and look at how Aston Villa fare on the big game. 

Now, you might be sitting there and thinking – what does a video game have to do with actual, real life football? Well, Football Manager 2019 creators Sports Interactive take their data incredibly seriously. They send real-life scouts out to look at players, compiling notes, match data and more to ensure they’re getting as much information as they can correct. In fact, a number of clubs across the world have used the data from Football Manager in part of their scouting set up – saving money and discovering players in leagues they’d never have thought about scouting beforehand.

In Aston Villa’s squad, there’s the obvious gem that hasn’t been ignored this season. Jack Grealish received a decent ‘upgrade’ after his impressive form last season, and is by far the biggest prospect at the club – but he’s not going to be the focus of this article.

Below, we take a look at five of the brightest talents at Aston Villa according to Football Manager 2019.

Callum O’Hare

Probably the most obvious name to expect to see on this list, Callum O’Hare is seen as the next big thing at Aston Villa. 

The youngster impressed in a few senior games last season, and would have more than likely broken the first team had it not been for a horrible injury during the summer. 

This season, he’s impressing for the U23’s and a number of fans have called for him to be moved in to the senior set-up to replace Jack Grealish who has been struggling of late.

On Football Manager 2019, O’Hare perhaps isn’t ready to be thrown in with the big boys right away, but consistently trains well and should definitely be in your thoughts as a rotation option. He has the ability to be better than Jack Grealish should he develop as expected. 

O’Hare can play up front, on the wing, in Jack’s favoured number 10 role and even in centre-mid – but will need training to be effective in all of them other than the striker role.

Mitch Clark

A number of fans expected to see Clark get a lot of game time this season as Aston Villa’s left-back troubles were still being filled by Alan Hutton, but unfortunately the prospect was sent on loan to Port Vale. 

And that’s exactly where the player is on Football Manager 2019 too, so you won’t be able to use him until the second season.

But at the start of the game, he’s rated at two-and-a-half stars, just half a star less than favoured left-back Neil Taylor. The Welsh youngster has the ability to surpass Taylor, although will require some training to be able to play in the left-back position as successful as he can play centre-back or right-back. 

Definitely keep an eye on how he’s performing at Port Vale too – as like in real life, he’ll definitely do well.

Jake Doyle-Hayes

Another well known youngster to Aston Villa fans is Jake Doyle-Hayes. 

According to the game, Jake Doyle-Hayes, like O’Hare, isn’t quite ready for the first team squad, but often over-performs for the U23 side and should definitely be considered as a rotation option. 

Obviously, this all depends on your save. In ours, we’ve loaned Henri Lansbury out to Rangers, but had a few injury worries in the midfield and Jake Doyle-Hayes has made his mark in the centre and now is considered above the likes of Glenn Whelan and Birkir Bjarnason. 

He might not hit the heights that his peers Clark and O’Hare will, but he’s definitely a Championship quality player come the January window.

Jack Clarke

Another talented Jack is Jack Clarke. In fact, Clarke was scouted at the same time as Jack Grealish as they both attended the same school – but Clarke was a few years younger than Super Jack.

Clarke is a somewhat of a hybrid between Callum O’Hare and Jake Doyle Hayes, and could potentially be a shock inclusion in your midfield if the stars align correctly.

It’s up to you whether you give him a few chances in cup games or loan him out to get more match-day experience, but Clarke should definitely be in your thoughts.

Corey Blackett-Taylor

Corey Blackett-Taylor impressed in pre-season and a few fans thought he’d get some game time this season – that was before he was injured and Steve Bruce brought in Anwar El Ghazi and Yannick Bolasie.

With Bolasie, El Ghazi and Adomah your options on the wing, if one of them is injured or out of form, Blackett-Taylor could be an option. 

The youngster has had a few shots in the first team under Bruce’s tenure, but has struggled to make much of a statement.

Jacob Bedeau

Not only do Aston Villa have issues with centre-backs in real life, they’ve translated into Football Manager 2019 too.

Bedeau probably isn’t ready in real life, or on the game, but an injury to Axel Tuanzebe saw the former Bury youngster thrown in at the deep end alongside James Chester. 

Bedeau held his own in game, so perhaps he should be considered in real life too – as he’s now coming close to making the centre-back spot his own as Tuanzebe leaves at the end of the season.

In game, he’s at a similar level to O’Hare and Jake Doyle-Hayes, but can certainly improve, and quickly if given the chance.

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