After falling to a disappointing defeat at home to Leicester last week, Aston Villa bounced back to winning ways with an impressive 1-0 win over Leeds United on Saturday.
Dean Smith’s side sealed all three points thanks to a first-half strike from Anwar El Ghazi, with a strong rearguard performance ensuring that the Whites didn’t find a way back into the game.
But arguably the most impressive performer for Villa, was 19-year-old Jacob Ramsey. With Jack Grealish out injured once again, and Ross Barkley out-of-form, Smith decided to give the club’s teenage talent a rare chance to start from the off – the last time that happened in the Premier League was against Wolves back in mid-December.
And while El Ghazi struck the match-winner, it was Ramsey’s performance that really stood out. For someone so young, the midfielder looked so composed on the ball, always looking to pass and move and bring a bit of energy into that engine room for Villa.
He completed 75% of his passes, which was only bettered by John McGinn out of Villa’s starters, while he also provided one key pass – one of only three players to do so.
Speaking on the 1874 podcast, Dan Bardell spoke about how Ramsey just “glides with the ball”, and that was all too clear to see on Saturday. The 19-year-old completed 100% of his dribbles, and his decision-making about when to try and beat a man and when to pass it off was impeccable.
The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece lauded Ramsey’s performance, tweeting: “Incredible shift from Jacob Ramsey as he’s replaced by Sanson with 10 to go. He’d have got a standing ovation had the Villa faithful been here. A class act which was summed up brilliantly as he powered away from Klich in the second half. Smith rates this kid. Bright future.”
With Sheffield United next up for Villa in mid-week, Ramsey did everything on Saturday to ensure he should absolutely be kept in the starting line-up.