Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie has expressed his disappointment over Louie Barry’s lack of appearances at Villa Park this season.
Barry, who joined Villa last year after spending time in the youth ranks of Barcelona and West Brom, made his senior debut for the Villans against Liverpool in the Third Round of the FA Cup and did not disappoint.
The 17-year-old, part of a very young Villa team on the day, scored a well-taken goal as he kept his composure when through on goal. It ensured that the Midlands club went into half-time level after going 1-0 down to Jurgen Klopp’s side, and was a moment that showed Barry’s incredible potential.
Since then, however, the attacker has not been given any more opportunities, something that has left Hendrie feeling frustrated. The ex-Villa player told FFC:
“I’m really disappointed that he hasn’t featured, not even really on the bench since that Liverpool game with the fabulous goal that he scored. He reminds me of a young Michael Owen in the fact that he’s very slight, small, but he’s very quick, and I’m surprised that he hasn’t been given a bit more of a chance since that game.”
Elaborating further on that Michael Owen comparison, Hendrie added:
“Michael Owen wasn’t very big and he wasn’t very strong, but because of his pace, you know, he was hard to deal with and I feel that’s similar with Louie Barry. I just feel that he should now be getting into the first–team squad, being on the bench and getting thrown on for the last 20 minutes, relieving a bit of pressure, just because he’s got that pace that he can burn off.”
If his display against Liverpool was anything to go by, then Barry definitely looks like he could offer something to this Villa side, especially in this moment of time.
Dean Smith’s team have had to play without captain Jack Grealish recently, something they have not managed to cope with well. They have won just one of their last five games in the absence of the England international, suggesting that perhaps some fresh impetus could have been helpful.