In all the delight of Aston Villa’s impressive win away from home at Spurs in the Premier League, the most eye-catching feature was no doubt the debuts of both Carney Chukwuemeka and Jaden Philogene-Bidace.
Dean Smith embraced the opportunity to hand a couple of Villa’s standout academy players a chance to take to the field in the top flight, and with the final day now upon us, it’s surely time for the manager to hand them a start.
The 19-year-old has been in fine form this season for the club’s under-23s, scoring five goals in just 14 games at Premier League 2 level, as well as providing three assists. That’s not to mention the superb hat-trick he scored on his England under-19 debut back in November.
His former coach Ahmed Abdulla has raved about his ability as an out-and-out winger, who – judging by the coach’s comments – someone who seems perfectly ready to grab his opportunity in the top flight.
Abdulla said: “He can come inside or go on the outside. The model winger. He hugs the touchline and can beat his man. (He’s) Very confident and very light on his feet and skips past tackles, not one of them that gets hit and goes down. He bounces off tackles. He’s very strong and outstanding in one-v-ones.”
With nothing but pride at stake for Villa, Smith must go one step further than he did last week and give Philogene-Bidace the chance to start from the off against Chelsea.
It would be an exciting end to what has been a fine Premier League season for Villa.