Having racked up 32 goals and 43 assists in 213 appearances across all competitions before joining fellow Premier League side Manchester City during the previous summer transfer window in a record-breaking deal, Jack Grealish had been a pivotal figure for Aston Villa after working his way through the club’s youth ranks.
Now having to move on without the England international, current Villa manager Steven Gerrard could potentially have the opportunity to unearth his own version of the £72m-rated Grealish.
That falls in the form of 18-year-old superstar Carney Chukwuemeka.
Since joining the club’s youth ranks back in 2016, the teenager has gone on to make 66 appearances across their U18, U23 and senior sides, scoring 13 goals and providing 14 assists along the way, showing how capable he is in front of goal like Grealish was when he was a Villan.
After it was reported that the youngster was not pleased with his game time in the first team and would not be signing a new deal at the Midlands club back in November, Gerrard seems to have been giving the teenager some chances to shine from the substitutes bench with eight league appearances under his belt since the former Rangers boss was appointed back in November.
Having been praised for his “outstanding” performances in a Villa shirt by Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson, Chukwuemeka could be just what the manager needs to freshen up his side at the moment having seen them win just one of their previous seven league games.
Moving forward, it could be worth the Liverpudlian boss giving his second start of the campaign after he played 63 minutes in their 1-1 draw against Brentford back in August.
If the youngster then manages to make the most of any opportunities he gets to play and show what he’s capable of, he could well follow in Grealish’s footsteps to become a regular and important figure in the team, putting to bed any speculation over his future at the club at the same time.