Report: Elite clubs are now circling to sign Aston Villa youngster who Steven Gerrard has tipped for greatness
Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images

Report: Elite clubs are now circling to sign Aston Villa youngster who Steven Gerrard has tipped for greatness

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery would have used the mid-season break to fully analyse his squad.

The Villains find themselves in 13th place in the Premier League, and Emery will want to be looking up the table rather than down it.

A report from The Athletic has assessed the Aston Villa players not currently at the club.

Villa have a fantastic academy, and a number of youngsters are plying their trade away from the West Midlands.

They demonstrated just how good their academy is when they took on Liverpool in the FA Cup last year.

With the first-team unavailable, their youth team only lost 4-1 to a very strong Liverpool side.

Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Aston Villa went on to win the FA Youth Cup that season, which is no surprise given the talent on offer.

Louie Barry’s name was in the headlines after he netted against the Reds, and he’s now on loan at League One side MK Dons.

One player who has looked very exciting away from Villa this season is Tim Iroegbunam.

The midfielder is on loan at Queens Park Rangers right now, and has already made 14 league appearances.

The Athletic are now reporting that plenty of elite clubs are interested in Iroegbunam.

However, Villa fans will be pleased to hear the club have no plans to sell the 19-year-old any time soon.

Elite clubs are interested in Iroegbunam

Aston Villa will be hoping that this interest doesn’t lead to a repeat of what happened with Carney Chukwuemeka.

Chukwuemeka ended up joining Chelsea in the summer for a significant fee, just as he was breaking into Villa’s first-team.

Iroegbunam was part of England’s under-19 side that won the European Championships in the summer.

He ended up joining Michael Beale at QPR in the summer having worked under him at Villa.

“I think they will be delighted with his progress,” Beale said in October before leaving the club.

“We had a visit from (Villa) last week, at the moment, it’s so far so good.

“Tim is really enjoying it, we’re enjoying having him and we can all see he is a player with a big future in front of him.”

Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images

Gerrard tips Iroegbunam to be a ‘top Premier League player’

Iroegbunam also has a big fan in Steven Gerrard, who gave him his first-team debut last season.

“He’s a real good professional, he needs to find his voice and come out of his shell now,” Gerrard said.

“We need him to realise that he is a first-team player. He needs to use his voice more, he needs to keep pushing himself on a daily basis.

“He’s got all the attributes to be a top Premier League player in my opinion.

“We’ll keep working to develop him, he’s got a real exciting future ahead of him.”

Elite clubs are now interested in Iroegbunam, and its vital Villa don’t allow another young star to leave this early in their career.

He’s got another six months at QPR to prove that he’s ready to make the step up to the Premier League.

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