The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece has confirmed that Aston Villa hold an interest in Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper Michael Cooper ahead of a potential transfer move.
Reports in recent days had suggested that Dean Smith’s side had their eye on the 21-year-old, and that scouts from Villa Park had been keeping tabs on his progress this season.
Now, Preece has revealed during a Q&A for The Birmingham Mail that Cooper’s name does indeed feature prominently on a shortlist of targets that Villa have already drawn up.
He said: “Yes, Michael Cooper amongst a shortlist of talented young and homegrown goalkeepers Villa are looking at. Head of emerging talents Adam Henshall working with Neil Cutler re this. Villa looking to act January/next summer. Cooper one of several names on Villa’s shortlist.”
Part of a Plymouth side that have conceded just seven goals in their opening nine League One games this season, and are currently lying in fourth in the table, Cooper has certainly shown exactly why he’s been tipped for a bright future in the game.
His manager, Ryan Lowe, said: “He’s fantastic isn’t he? That’s what he’s there for, it’s what he gets paid for. We know what he has got, he has got quality in abundance. He looks solid and resolute in that goal – it’s a presence.
“We want him to communicate more and be demanding, and that’s what he’s doing. If he keeps continuing to do that he will be fine. Physically, he’s a monster. He wants to be strong, you have seen him coming for catches and grabbing hold of them. He used to play cricket so he has got that over-arm (throw) as well!”
It’s exactly why Preece’s confirmation that Cooper is among a shortlist of young targets that Villa are looking at is exciting for the club’s future, especially when you consider Emi Martinez is already firmly established as number one.
Rather than just signing players who can help with the here and now, Villa are making a conscious effort that the club is in good hands for the future, and that should leave fans buzzing.