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17-year-old defender with a ‘huge future’ spotted training with Aston Villa’s first team in Dubai
Photo by Aston Villa/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

17-year-old defender with a ‘huge future’ spotted training with Aston Villa’s first team in Dubai

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery has had the World Cup break to get to know his new squad.

Emery took charge of three matches before the Premier League was paused, recording back-to-back league wins.

The first-team squad are now preparing for the season to begin again in Dubai.

A change of manager has given Aston Villa’s players a fresh slate to try and break into the team.

The likes of Morgan Sanson and Marvelous Nakamba, who didn’t feature under Steven Gerrard, have another chance to impress.

The former has already ‘done very well’ in training, according to Emery.

Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

A new manager also offers opportunities to young players who are looking to break into the senior side.

Emery has named a number of academy graduates in the squad that has travelled to Dubai.

One of those players is 17-year-old Josh Feeney, who is now training with the first-team.

It’s another show of faith in the centre-back, who has been named on the bench for the first team already this season.

Feeney in Aston Villa first-team training in Dubai

The video shared on Aston Villa’s YouTube channel shows the squad being put through their paces by Emery.

Feeney can be seen working with Villa’s senior stars, and certainly doesn’t look out of place.

Previously described as a ‘huge talent’, Feeney might consider himself unlucky not to have made his Villa debut yet.

Had Villa started the Premier League in a stronger manner, Gerrard could have handed Feeney a debut against Bolton in the Carabao Cup.

Instead, he used the match against the League One outfit as an opportunity for his senior players to find some form.

Photo by Aston Villa/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Feeney signed a professional contract in the summer, having joined from Fleetwood Town last year.

Mark Harrison, Villa’s academy manager, said: “We are really pleased Josh has signed his first professional contract after a very promising first season with us which led to him being involved in the first team.

“He put in some excellent performances last season which also saw him captain England at Under-17 level.

“We are all excited by his potential and with the attitude and application he has shown so far we are hopeful he can continue to develop and become a first-team regular.”

Feeney will hope training with the senior side in Dubai will either see him play a bigger role in the first team, or earn a loan move away from the club.

The youngster is very highly rated, and could now be ready to showcase his talents further down the football pyramid.

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