The Birmingham Mail‘s Ashley Preece has made a major claim about Carney Chukwuemeka and his future at Aston Villa.
The 17-year-old was a revelation for Villa’s youth side last season, scoring seven goals and providing two assists in just six FA Youth Cup games as the club’s young guns went on to lift the trophy.
Preece has now revealed that Chukwuemeka will not be going out on loan and instead is likely to be eased into first team action like Dean Smith has done with Jacob Ramsey.
The journalist reported: “Smith has said himself he’ll have a cluster of academy players in with the first-team this pre-season. I’m expecting Kesler, Chukwuemeka, Philogene-Bidace, A.Ramsey, Louie Barry and others to step up and to be involved in first-team pre-season games. Then, when season begins, Smith will make a call on those players. Chukwuemeka, though, will be around the first team.
“Carney’s not going out on loan. He’s going to be eased in but what’s stopping him from looking really good this season? He’s still a bit of an unknown as he hasn’t been tested at the highest level. He could well be a superstar but Smith will ease him in like he did with Jacob last season.”
At 17, there’s no doubting that Chukwuemeka is one of the brightest young talents at Villa, if not the brightest. The teenager netted a hat-trick in Villa’s 6-1 win over Newcastle to reach the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup last season; a performance which had Preece absolutely raving.
Writing in his post-match player ratings for the Birmingham Mail, he said: “This was a Carney Chukwuemeka masterclass. It was a clinic in how to play an advanced midfield role with the 17-year-old oozing confidence and swagger. The hype’s real surrounding this kid who, as supporters know, has been around Dean Smith’s first team for a long time now. Villa’s No.10 started almost every attack and looked to hurt Newcastle at every opportunity.
“European clubs are hovering looking to take Chukwuemeka and Villa could do with reassuring him that his future’s at Villa Park. He’s ready for some Premier League minutes. A scary talent who assisted Reddin as well. Unreal. He’s got everything.”
The teenager made his first team debut for Smith’s side in the closing weeks of the Premier League season, coming on as a late substitute away at Spurs, before getting a more prolonged runout on the final day against Chelsea (Transfermarkt).
Given the superb displays he has produced at youth team level, it would only be natural for Villa fans to be rightfully excited about what Chukwuemeka could do if given the opportunity in the first team.
It’s exactly why Preece’s update will surely have Villa fans grinning from ear to ear.