Aston Villa and Steven Gerrard have not had a particularly successful past few weeks in terms of their results in the Premier League.
Their latest outing saw the Villans succumb to a disappointing 4-0 drubbing against Tottenham Hotspur in front of their home fans.
This defeat took the Midlands club to their fourth league loss in a row, having lost against West Ham United, Arsenal and Wolves.
Another blow that the Villa Park outfit took during that clash was through left-back Lucas Digne, who sustained a collarbone injury and could now be facing the remainder of the campaign on the sidelines as a result.
While this will undoubtedly be a blow for the Frenchman, it could give Gerrard the chance to finally give one of Villa’s barely seen youth players an opportunity to step up to the senior level.
Having featured in five Premier League matchday squads this season, 18-year-old Ben Chrisene has yet to feature in the top flight for the Villans.
However, the fact that he has been in and around the senior squad shows the sort of faith the Villa boss has in the £2.5k-per-week prodigy.
In those appearances, the full-back has scored two goals and provided four assists along the way.
Taking into account how Ashley Young is listed as one of the lowest-rated players currently in Gerrard’s squad based on his league performances according to WhoScored, this could sway the Villa boss to give Chrisene the chance to shine rather than the veteran.
Also, having lost 15 of the 27 aerial duels he’s been involved in, perhaps Young isn’t the right player to fill in for Digne from a defensive point of view.
Moving forward, with the eagerness the youngster will presumably have at the thought of playing in the first team, now could be the right time for him to come in and get his first real taste of Premier League action.
While the Villans aren’t at risk of being dragged into a relegation battle at the moment, getting through these remaining games would be an ideal time for Gerrard to see which players he thinks are capable of continuing at the club, such as Chrisene.