While Dean Smith looked to have enjoyed a fine summer transfer window at Aston Villa, securing the signings of players such as Emiliano Buendia, Leon Bailey and Danny Ings, Villa have not exactly got their 2021/22 Premier League campaign off to the best of starts.
Indeed, having picked up just four points from their opening four fixtures of the season, Smith finds his side languishing in the bottom half of the table, with one recent report even claiming that the 50-year-old could be fighting to keep his job should results not improve before the next international break.
However, there have been some plus points for Villa so far this season, with new signings Ings, Buendia and Bailey all impressing over their first few appearances for the club, although, perhaps the biggest bonus for Smith this term has been the early-season form of 20-year-old academy product Jacob Ramsey.
Indeed, over Ramsey’s three Premier League appearances so far this season – only two of which have come as starts – the £4.5m-rated youngster has highly impressed for Villa, making an average of 0.3 interceptions, two tackles, 1.3 clearances and winning six duels per game.
The 20-year-old has also looked sharp going forwards, taking an average of 1.3 shots, making one key pass and completing one dribble per league fixture.
These returns have seen the player Gabby Agbonlahor dubbed an “outstanding” talent earn an average SofaScore match rating of 6.90, ranking him as the club’s joint fourth-best performer in the top flight of English football this season.
As such, should the £7.5k-per-week midfielder continue his current rate of development, he could well cement his place in Smith’s starting XI before the season is out, something that could end up saving the 50-year-old millions of pounds in the transfer market.
And, with the former Aston Villa talisman Jack Grealish having recently departed for Manchester City, the Villa Park faithful could well already have found a new homegrown hero to worship in the shape of the 20-year-old.
And in other news; Villa’s board could be heading towards a making a huge error…