Aston Villa are a club who, in recent seasons, have started to reap the benefits of an impressive youth setup, with the likes of Cameron Archer, Jacob Ramsey, Jaden Philogene-Bidace, Kaine Kesler Hayden, Tim Iroegbunam and Aaron Ramsey either already being a regular part of Steven Gerrard’s first team squad, impressing out on loan, or catching the eye in the academy.
One player who falls into the middle category is Aaron Ramsey, first-team regular Jacob’s younger brother, who joined former Aston Villa manager Dean Smith on a season-long loan deal at Norwich City over the summer transfer window.
The 19-year-old midfielder – who is comfortable operating as an eight, a ten or as a winger – has enjoyed an increasingly prominent role in the City side over the last few weeks, with his last five appearances in the Championship coming as starts, having started his first four games for the club on the bench.
And, it is not difficult to see why the £1.35m-rated talent has been afforded this role, as the England U20 international has started to make a real impact in the final third for the Canaries, registering the assist for the winner in a 1-0 victory over Sunderland back in August, as well as providing a further two assists in the 3-0 and 3-2 wins over Coventry City and Bristol City in September.
Following the win over Coventry, Smith singled the youngster’s performance out for praise, with the 51-year-old stating:
“I thought AJ [Ramsey] was excellent in the ten position today. Some of his movement and his flicks and his vision were excellent. Ramsey is starting to get to grips with life in the Championship and has settled in really well, which I would expect because he’s such a good, lovely lad. He understands the game, he’s a clever footballer, especially today, you could see that in the first half.”
Furthermore, after his latest outing for Norwich, Birmingham Live’s Ashley Preece also stated his delight at Ramsey’s progress in the second tier, writing in a post on Twitter:
“Buzzing for AVFC loan ace AJ; Dean Smith continues to back the 19-year-old to the hilt. Ramsey, improving in every game, flying at Carrow Road.”
Looking at his statistics from his nine league fixtures in more detail, the £2.5k-per-week talent makes an average of 1.6 key passes per game – demonstrating his ability to play a killer ball – has created three big chances – once again highlighting his creativity in the final third – and takes an average of one shot per game – proving he not only creates chances for others, but also for himself.
In fact, when comparing his metrics to those of Jacob’s over his eight Premier League appearances this season, the brothers appear an extremely similar type of player, with the £43.5m-rated midfielder making an average of 1.3 key passes and taking 0.9 shots per game, although the 21-year-old is yet to create a big chance for Villa this season.
As such, should the 19-year-old continue his impressive form over his remaining time with City, he will undoubtedly be in consideration for a place in Steven Gerrard’s first-team squad next season, with all the signs pointing towards the youngster going on to emulate his older brother’s impact within Villa’s senior side – an exciting thought for all involved with the club.