Aston Villa youngster Mitchell Clark has stated he is hoping to make an impression on new boss Dean Smith when he returns from his loan, he told the Stoke Sentinel.
It is all change at Villa Park after the appointment of Dean Smith this week, who replaced Steve Bruce after a woeful start to the campaign which has left Aston Villa with just one win from their last 11 matches across all competitions.
Smith will need to spark a swift revival at the club to get their promotion hopes back on track and he could hand chances to fringe players within the squad, which could see 19-year-old Mitchell Clark earn an opportunity in the side.
Currently on loan at Port Vale, Clark’s contract with Villa expires at the end of the season but he told the Stoke Sentinel that he still sees his long-term future at Villa Park and is keen on proving himself to Smith.
“At the minute I am at Port Vale so I am trying to keep my focus on Vale and, whenever the time comes when I go back to Villa, hopefully I can be in the manager’s view.
“I know Villa are watching me while I am playing for Vale. I just have to make sure I keep playing well and keep performing for Vale and try to help them get three points every week.”
Teenager Clark has been an important member of Port Vale’s squad in League Two this season, playing the entirety of the club’s league matches this season and displaying his versatility in the process by featuring at right-back, left-back and as a winger on both sides.
That versatility could be a useful asset to Dean Smith’s Aston Villa moving forward, although he may have his best chance of regular football if he can knuckle down a regular position and impress in those performances.
With his contract with Villa due to expire at the end of the season, Clark is playing for his future but the club needs to hand him a new deal as he has the potential to be a useful asset in the future – even if he does not immediately get chances when he returns.