Aston Villa could unearth their next Jack Grealish in Carney Chukwuemeka

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Football FanCast

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Aston Villa could unearth their next Jack Grealish-like success story in 17-year-old starlet Carney Chukwuemeka.

The teenager may be more of a household name amongst Villa fans after making the bench for Dean Smith’s side’s Premier League clash against Leicester last week, and though he didn’t come on to make his first-team debut, there is real excitement about the kind of talent that he has.

Chukwuemeka is the prodigy that Christian Purslow went so far as to describe as the best player for his age last year, and there have been glowing reports about his abilities.

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One scout told The Athletic: “He’s the best player Villa have got coming through. He can do everything in the midfield area and there are a lot of clubs monitoring his situation at Villa.”

And just recently on the 1874 podcast, Gregg Evans spoke about just how highly thought of he is in and around the club, revealing that “he’s the one everybody’s talking about” – the journalist even went so far as to describe him as “the real deal”.

Villa were able to tie down the teenager to a new contract late last year, and that was a major coup given that The Athletic had previously reported the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham were all looking to lure him away.

Predominantly a central or attacking midfielder, Chukwuemeka can also play slightly deeper as he has done for the U23s this season at Premier League 2 level, and certainly has the creative chops to match a young Grealish.

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In just 19 games for Villa’s U18s, he’d racked up six assists, and despite only turning 17 back in October, is already a fully-fledged member of the club’s U23s set up now.

It’s a real testament to just how quickly he is progressing through the ranks at Villa, and Smith’s decision to give him some exposure to life in the first-team by naming him on the bench against the Foxes last time out is a real indication that he features highly in the manager’s plans.

Grealish is where he is now because he was given an opportunity to impress. Chukwuemeka has got the talent, now it’s up to Smith to really harness it.