In what has undeniably been an exciting 18 months or so as an Aston Villa fan, one of their big success stories since making their return to the Premier League has been the rise of Ezri Konsa.
Dean Smith’s side signed the defender from Brentford in a £12m deal back in the summer of 2019, and he has since then enjoyed a meteoric rise, even getting touted with a potential England call-up.
At just 23, Konsa still has the peak years of his career ahead of him, but when you look at Villa’s academy, Smith could find another player who is remarkably like the former Brentford ace.
Lamare Bogarde joined from Dutch giants Feyenoord just last year and is seemingly already making a big impression behind the scenes at Villa Park.
The Athletic’s Gregg Evans even recently claimed that Villa fought off intense transfer competition from a number of big Premier League rivals, and added: “Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa have both taken the hard-working teenager under their wing. They immediately warmed to the bright, polite youngster and recognise his potential. The youngster is calm and composed in possession and likes to play out from the back. ”
Speaking after his arrival, academy manager Mark Harrison, raved: “We are delighted to welcome Lamare to the club. He is a player with immense potential and the commitment that will go into fulfilling that starts now.”
Already this season, Bogarde has shown his temperament when it comes to dealing with more senior players, handling himself well in the victory over Wycombe Wanderers in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Writing in his post-match player ratings for The Birmingham Mail, Ashley Preece gave him a seven, saying: “The Dutch youngster is highly thought of at Villa and he did well once again here as he got Appiah out of jail on occasion with a string of brave blocks.”
That ability to recover and help out his teammates, but also be cool, calm and collected in possession, is exactly what Konsa brings to the table when playing alongside Tyrone Mings.
The 6 foot ace looks set to have a bright future in the game, and could well develop into Villa’s next Konsa.