With an agreement in place to sign Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona and the emergence of reports suggesting that they are working on a deal to sign Lucas Digne from fellow Premier League club Everton on a permanent basis, Aston Villa have been pretty busy in terms of transfer business so far this month.
Taking into account how Coutinho and potentially Digne would presumably be first-team regulars in Steven Gerrard’s side, it seems as though the Midlands club have their eye on signing a player that could become a senior player for the future.
According to journalist Pete O’Rourke in a recent Twitter post, Villa have made a bid to sign Dundee United’s 17-year-old defender Kerr Smith.
In those 12 appearances, Smith has predominantly been deployed in his usual centre-back position but also as a right-back on occasion, showing his versatility at such a young age.
If Villa do end up signing him this month, it seems unlikely that he will be thrown straight into Gerrard’s first team, even though they have said goodbye to Axel Tuanzebe recently.
That’s considering they’ve got the likes of Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa and Kortney Hause in their squad who are much more experienced than Smith in terms of age.
However, if Villa were to add him to their U23 squad or even loan him out to get some regular minutes elsewhere, this could be a good first step towards potentially becoming a first-team player for the Midlands club in the future, which would surely please a lot of Villa fans if he’s good enough.
However, he may be of better use acting as a fourth centre-back option now Tuanzebe has left. After all, there would be far worse candidates considering Smith has already gained senior experience in Scotland.
Either way, if Villa are interested in signing the teenager this month, it shows that the club’s owners are not just focused on signing players such as Coutinho and possibly Digne to help strengthen the team on a short-term basis, but that they are also keen on bolstering the club’s youth teams to develop players that can be real assets for them on a long-term basis.