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Aston Villa: Unai Emery must unleash Tommi O’Reilly

Aston Villa boast plenty of exciting young talent in their academy, plenty of whom will have seen the club’s current form and thought that they could be the ideal solutions to turn things around.

However, with Unai Emery now appointed as manager, it seems that the hierarchy have opted for an experienced big name to progress the Villans rather than a younger revolutionary like Steven Gerrard.

Nonetheless, the former Arsenal boss could look to implement Tommi O’Reilly in a similar way to what Manchester City‘s Pep Guardiola did with Phil Foden into the first team. After all, many at the club have nicknamed the Villa youngster after the Sky Blues’ star academy product.

Still only 22, Foden has already featured 184 times for the Cityzens, scoring 52 goals and setting up another 36.

At just 18 years of age , Villa attacking midfielder O’Reilly already boasts plenty of experience at under-23 level.

Having scored eight goals and set up another three in 25 games for the under-18s, he was promoted to the next age category and handed 23 appearances for the under-23s.

Should Tommi O'Reilly be given a chance by Emery?

Yes

Yes

No

No

He will now have his sights set on the biggest step up to senior football, and if Emery is to implement him slowly just as Guardiola did with Foden, he could reap the same benefits that Man City have.

This season, O’Reilly already has a goal and an assist in Villa’s opening six Premier League 2 matches, and his performances across the youth teams even led journalist Ashley Preece dubbing him a “lovely little footballer

He would likely not burst into Emery’s plans right away, but if he is managed correctly, he could soon surpass the likes of Emiliano Buendia or Jacob Ramsey in the Villa first team.

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David Ginola at Aston Villa

First up, who did Aston Villa sign David Ginola from in 2000?

The Spaniard already has a proven track record with trusting in youngsters, as he was the man who promoted Emile Smith Rowe to Arsenal’s first team in 2018/19.

This should fill O’Reilly with confidence that, should he keep performing to a high standard at underage level, the chances will come in the first team.

To promote another academy graduate would instantly get Villa fans even more supportive of the new regime under Emery, and if he can become anywhere near as successful as Foden has in Manchester, it will be a process well done.

Article title: Aston Villa: Unai Emery must unleash Tommi O’Reilly

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