Aston Villa have been handed a major transfer boost in their chase to sign Everton starlet Thierry Small.
Reports in recent weeks have suggested that the 16-year-old is keen to leave Goodison Park this summer in a bid for first-team football, and now, Football Insider have delivered a significant update on that pursuit.
It said: “A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Small has had his head turned by the interest from Villa, partly due to his strong links with the club.
“The teenager, who hails from the Midlands and was on West Brom’s books until the age of 11, is a Villa fan and his uncle Bryan played for the club for six years. Small considers the Midlands ‘home’, the source added, and that is a key factor in his current deliberations.”
In just 27 games for Everton’s youth teams, the left-back bagged himself an impressive six goals, including three goals and one assist at Premier League 2 level – this despite him only being 16.
Toffees’ youth team boss David Unsworth has waxed lyrical about his ability and his attitude, and that should be music to the ears of Dean Smith.
The 47-year-old said: “Thierry is a fantastic boy. He’s been in the academy system a while and is an attacking left-back with great pace and power. The pace, the power, how he gets forward – he’s a smashing lad.
“I love working with him, he’s a great boy. He’s very coachable, very approachable, honest and has all the attributes of what I like to see in young Everton players. He has great desire too. I’m delighted with him.”
Small appears to be every bit of the modern full-back that has dominated the game in recent years a la a Trent Alexander-Arnold or Andy Robertson at Liverpool.
And, given his age – he doesn’t turn 17 until next month – Small could be the perfect long-term successor to current first-choice left-back Matt Targett, and ensure that Villa are set up well for the future, which should please the Villa Park faithful no ends.
With reports previously suggesting that the likes of Leeds, Manchester United and Arsenal are interested too, this latest update that he’s seemingly got his heart set on a move to Villa Park is exciting news for fans.