Once upon a time Aston Villa were the Champions of Europe. I’m not talking about 1982, but the 2013 youth vintage, that won the Next Gen Series beating Chelsea in the final in Lake Como. With Villa crowned the best youth team in Europe the future looked bright, surely some of the players would make the grade and integrate themselves in the plans of then Villa boss Paul Lambert?

Interestingly though, when Lambert decided on his initial ‘young and hungry’ policy, he tended to overlook the Villa youth set-up and brought in young players from either the lower leagues or abroad.

Out of the players that made the winning Next Gen final team only Jack Grealish and Callum Robinson have made any real ripples on the first team.

Janoi Donacien has made the squad, while the captain that night Samir Carruthers has since been moved on to MK Dons.

 

 

A Villa defensive injury crisis and an Instagram video of Lewis Kinsella doing the traditional first team squad initiation ceremony of standing on a chair and singing a song acapella style to the group, suggest the 20-year-old left-back is in with a serious shout for a start.

After training all week with the first team and Sherwood’s previous proactive nature in blooding young players at Spurs, logic dictates Kinsella should make the first XI. Another option at left-back would be Nathan Baker, but with Sherwood wanting to get Villa playing on the front foot, if the youngster has impressed in training, the Villa boss will more than likely prefer the more balanced Kinsella, as he would be a better option linking-up play going forward.

 

 

If Aly Cissoko doesn’t make it (or isn’t 100% fit), it’s worth a punt on Kinsella, as the exuberance of youth must be favourable to what else we’ve seen this season from most of the players.

The injection of freshness is something that is needed to the stale descent of the Villa team. Sinclair and Gil will hopefully continue to add more spark, and maybe Kinsella’s NextGen teammate Jack Grealish will have something to say yet, after all at Notts County last season, he helped them overcome their relegation battle.

Good luck to Kinsella if he does get the nod to start. Hopefully a new face will have a winning smile come the end of the game. UTV

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