But fear not Villa supporters, the club’s promising academy already has another emerging starlet ready to take Steven Gerrard’s first team by storm in the form of wing-back Kaine Kessler Hayden.
His former U23 teammate rejected a contract extension over fears of his playing time, with some reports even suggesting that he was demanding £100k-per-week, which would see him rank amongst the top-earners at Villa Park.
Ultimately, though, this saga is coming to an end and it’s time for the Midlands side to move on and the potential breakthrough of Kessler could help them do just that.
Primarily a right-sided defender, the 19-year-old gem can provide Gerrard with a viable backup option to Matty Cash.
The Poland international is currently the club’s only senior option in the role after Frederic Guilbert was banished to train with the youth team in a bid to move him on to pastures new.
Kessler could be an intriguing solution and one that can certainly follow in the footsteps of someone like Jacob Ramsey, another former teammate at U21 level.
According to Birmingham Mail reporter Ashley Preece, the teenager is “ready to step in” to be a part of the senior squad, also lauding him as a “huge, huge talent” and he even claimed that Gerrard has been “buzzing with him” throughout pre-season.
These are certainly encouraging signs pointing in the right direction for the young Bodymoor Heath talent.
As Villa move on from Chukwuemeka this week, Gerrard could well ignite a new era at Villa Park by unleashing Kessler into the first team – on the above evidence, he has all the tools needed to succeed, he must needs an opportunity.
The young gem would also allow the club to save millions in the transfer market as they will not have to splash out for the sake of having a backup option to Cash, when there’s a viable solution right under their nose.
Kessler could well be Aston Villa’s next big thing.