Former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie has exclusively told Football FanCast that he wants to see teenage sensation Carney Chukwuemeka given first-team opportunities moving forward.
The 17-year-old midfielder, who’s a target for both Manchester United and City, has been on the bench for Villa twice this season, although he’s yet to make his senior debut.
Chukwuemeka was an unused substitute against both Leicester and Manchester City having caught Dean Smith’s eye following some impressive performances in the FA Youth Cup.
He followed up his brace against Burton with a hat-trick against Newcastle, and has also gained valuable experience by playing 90 minutes on two occasions in the EFL Trophy earlier this season.
Despite the first-team’s victory at Everton on Saturday, Smith’s team are likely to fall short in their bid for European football, with the gap to seventh-placed Liverpool currently six points.
And Hendrie wants Chukwuemeka, who’s scored seven times and provided five assists in 22 outings this term, to be given some minutes in Villa’s five remaining Premier League matches.
He told Football FanCast:
“I kind of go off the fans’ views – I know he’s been scoring goals in the Under-18s. When someone is scoring goals, they’ve showed they’re a massive threat, it does attract football clubs and when you’re getting Manchester City and United hovering around the vicinity and are trying to take the young players away.
“This is where I feel if he’s that good we need to see him filtered through to the first team especially at this stage of the season.
“We’ve seen the likes of Louie Barry, who I felt would have had more of a chance this season, and I would put him in that category. I’d like to see more of him playing, because if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.”