Aston Villa are tracking a 20-year-old Derby County midfielder but in light of recent events, should they be aiming higher?
Jeff Hendrick is a name that we could all be hearing a lot more of in coming weeks and months as the 20-year-old from Derby has been linked with a move to Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa.
He is a very promising player who has just been called up to the Republic of Ireland squad for next month’s friendly match against Poland.
However, it is not a name that will set the pulses of Villa fans around the country racing. There is no doubt he is talented but does Villa’s poor league form and exit from the League Cup warrant some bigger names?
Lambert has been under pressure ever since he took over as Aston Villa and started making some odd choices such as leaving Darren Bent out of match day squads altogether.
He has been forced to work on a reduced budget which seems a little bizarre as Aston Villa are one of the sides just outside the Deloitte list of the top 20 earning clubs in Europe.
The overwhelming factor in favour of this move is the experience that Hendrick possesses despite his age.
He has made over 80 appearances for Derby, coming into the first team at a very early age and staying there throughout his career.
It’s very difficult for a young, then a teenager, midfielder to come into an established football league club and hold his place as effectively.
This also tells Villa that he is an extremely fit young man who is not prone to picking up injuries. In other words he is a solid investment because Derby will try and get as much as they possibly can for him.
He also seems to fit in with the ethos and philosophy that Lambert is trying to create at the club in the respect of using younger players to create a solid spine in the team.
There is nothing wrong with this method and it’s the same one which is being used by Arsenal and Liverpool as the importance of clubs breaking even increases.
If Hendrick does make his international debut for the Republic of Ireland next month, he will be playing on the biggest stage and in a huge shopping window which could cause his price to rocket, as he attracts interest from more and more clubs.
Villa fans, would you rather see some bigger names at your club?
image: © mollyig