On the eve of the new season, we saw an example of why the Villa academy still has a way to go to act as a support system to cover any injuries the first team may have.
In came a Spurs 20-year-old midfielder on loan, while going out on loan, the same day, was a current Villa 20-year-old midfield prospect.
Aston Villa announced the signing of Spurs midfielder Josh Onomah on a season-long loan, as a direct response to losing Jack Grealish to long-term injury last week.
The 20-year-old Onomah had been part of Tottenham’s plans for the new season, after being a big part of helping England U-20’s win the World Cup this summer in South Korea.
The young midfielder had been with Spurs on their USA tour last week, and had started against Paris Saint Germain.
Certainly Onomah was looking to top his 12 appearances last season for Spurs, but now he will look to potentially double it in a season playing at Villa in the Championship.
Of course, Villa will be helping develop another team’s player, with Onomah also signing a new contract with Spurs until 2021, on the day he came on loan to Villa. This is very much getting his services for just the season.
The pay off is though, having played 32 times for Mauricio Pochettino’s side since his debut, aged 17, he is match ready and could provide a much-needed spark to drive the midfield forward.
Why not allow a Villa academy player to step up to fill Grealish’s shoes? Some Villans have asked.
For example, Callum O’Hare has played in an attacking midfield role in the Villa U-23’s and impressed in pre-season for Villa.
It’s a fair comment and MOMS has made the case ourselves in terms of the general conversation of having more faith in Villa’s own youngsters.
However, as indicated above, Onomah has matches under his belt at Premier League level and comes to Villa buoyed by his recent success with England and wanting to win more.
“I know that promotion is the aim and I am here to help us achieve that,” said Onomah, of his move to Villa.
Villa Midfielder Heads to Ireland
Meanwhile, Villa’s Republic of Ireland U-21 midfielder Rory Hale has joined Galway United on a season’s loan.
Born in Belfast, after four years at Villa playing at different youth levels, the midfielder hasn’t yet broke through into first team squad consideration.
Whether the 20-year-old still has a future now at Villa is in doubt, with the example of Onomah showing that Villa currently prefer other team’s 20-year-old midfielders to their own.
The Galway boss though was happy with his new recruit, describing the player as follows:
“He’s an out-and-out central midfielder, who is technical, gets about the pitch and is fond of a tackle. He’ll add a real option and quality in the centre of the field and is also comfortable in a few other positions also.”
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