“His future is boundless. He has all the physical capabilities of a top level player. The attributes and the characteristics that he has within are the ones that will drive his development. I don’t see a limit to what he can achieve.”

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Who scored the winner against Arsenal in Villa's penultimate game of last season?

In 26 games for the club’s U23s, he bagged seven goals and provided a further two assists, and what makes Vassilev a really intriguing option as an understudy to Grealish, is the leadership qualities people are raving about.

Grealish has been Villa’s talisman for a long time now, and it’s no surprise that he’s taken on the mantle of being club captain too. He leads by example on the pitch, and that’s something Vassilev will have to develop as the years go by.

So when Vassilev returns from loan at the end of the season, Smith may opt to give the 19-year-old a chance to learn from Grealish and follow in his footsteps. He’s got a long way to go to match the captain, but judging by what people have been saying about him, he’s got every chance of doing so.