Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, Lee Hendrie revealed his disappointment over the lack of youth players that have come through at Aston Villa in recent years.
While the former Villa midfielder feels differently now, quickly praising the emergence of Jacob Ramsey, 19, and the potential of his brother Aaron, 18, he was critical of the goings-on at Villa Park prior.
At present, Ramsey finds himself as a part of Dean Smith’s first team, making his full Premier League debut against Wolves last December.
Since then, the English midfielder has gone on to make a host of cameo appearances, including against the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, firmly completing that transition from the youth set-up to the senior squad.
And it is that kind of youth progression Hendrie believes Villa had been lacking prior. The retired Premier League footballer told FFC:
“I feel that’s been a bit of a downfall, that they haven’t brought enough youngsters in who’ve made a big impact over the past four or five years. [You] probably [have to] stretch back to the likes of Jack Grealish. So that’s where they’ve got to be better, in that department.
“Seeing the likes of the young boys coming through at this moment of time, it’s a great fit for Dean [Smith]. Now it’s a matter of whether they can actually step up.”
Ramsey could next be in action when Villa host Fulham in the Premier League after the international break.