Aside from the man of the moment Louie Barry, Aston Villa also have another hugely exciting young striker on their books in Cameron Archer.
The 19-year-old has spent the campaign out on loan at National League side Solihull Moors, where he’s shown real promising signs, bagging five goals in 12 appearances, including in the FA Cup.
And after the club confirmed they had extended his spell until the end of the season, the Solihull boss, Jimmy Shan, said: “We are happy to extend the loan of Cameron Archer. Cam has grown and developed in his short time with the club, he gives us a different dimension in the final third and has contributed with goals and assists.”
A profile piece by The Birmingham Mail back in the summer of 2019 described him as “one of Villa’s most highly thought of youngsters alongside Jacob Ramsey”, and that he’s a “livewire forward with excellent footwork and the ability to find the back of the net”.
The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece said: “Genuine pace. That’s Cameron Archer in a nutshell. He’s short, stocky and jet-heeled. Blink and you’ll miss him.
“Cam, as he’s known, is a natural striker who plays off the shoulder of a defender but, in recent weeks, has been deployed on the right of a three-pronged forward line, such is his ability to beat his man one-on-one. Delaney and Smith could see his long-term future as an electrifying winger.”
And that ability to offer something completely different to what Smith currently has at his disposal, makes him a potentially intriguing rotation option for next season – the likes of Ollie Watkins, Keinan Davis and Barry have all got their own individual strengths, but none can match the sheer pace of Archer.
Davis has often been the man the Villa boss has turned to as a substitute this season, but in Archer, they’ve got someone whose rapid pace and more directness with the ball at his feet could make him a nightmare for tiring opposition defences in the Premier League.
With him spending the rest of the campaign out on loan, Archer should come back to Villa in the summer as a more refined player, looking to knock on the door and challenge for a spot in the squad.