According to reports, Aston Villa are interested in signing Bournemouth starlet Ajani Burchall in this upcoming summer transfer window.
The 16-year-old has burst onto the scene with the Cherries this campaign, making his first-team debut at the back end of December when he came on as a second-half substitute in a 5-0 win over Huddersfield. The occasion was even marked by former Manchester City striker Shaun Goater, who lauded his fellow Bermudan, calling him “the future”.
Now, Football Insider claim that Villa have joined the race to sign the teenage starlet this summer, with the likes of West Ham and Arsenal also said to be interested in the winger.
The report adds that Burchall has rejected a scholarship deal with Bournemouth, with a move to a Premier League club now very much on the cards.
Bournemouth’s official club website has written that Burchall is “predominantly plays wide and is an exciting forward player who likes to take opponents on and has an eye for goal, while also being a hard-working, tough-tackling winger”.
Meanwhile, Burchall’s teammate at the Vitality Stadium, Steve Cook, said after his debut: “You could see how special a player he is. His first involvement was checked his shoulder, cut across a player and won his foul. For a 16-year-old, that awareness, that knowhow, I think the club have produced a really good player.
“On Saturday we had a few players who have come through the youth system, so it’s terrific. The club’s been known for that and I think Ajani has got great talent. He obviously can’t train with us day-to-day because he’s at school! But I’m sure he’s got a very good future and a very proud moment for his family.”
Given his ability to beat players one on one, his “eye for goal” and also predominantly playing off the left flank, there’s a lot of similarities between Burchall and Villa talisman Jack Grealish.
At just 16, Burchall has got the world at his feet and has got all the time in the world to grow and develop, and there’s surely no better place than Villa Park, and no better person to learn from than Grealish.