Could this 19-year-old striker be the silver lining for Aston Villa?

Mikey Drennan has been banging in the goals for the NextGen and under-21 sides this season. Could he have a massive impact at Villa Park?

Aston Villa are having what can be best described as a bad season. Struggling near the foot of the Premier League and knocked out of both domestic competitions by lower league opposition there is every reason for there to be some doom and gloom around Villa Park right now.

However there is one player who just might be able to save Aston Villa.

To preface; he may not be able to save them this year. Is he talented enough? Potentially, but at just 19-years-old he is not exactly what they need; Villa already have plenty of precocious talents playing in the Premier League week-in-week-out getting a very steep learning curve despite their obvious talents.

He is also a striker; and on paper Christian Benteke, Darren Bent, Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor should be good enough to score the goals at this standard (I said on paper).

Worst case scenario for all those glass half empty types out there Villa do slip out of the Premier League this season. The likelihood is that players who have impressed this season, such as Benteke and Weimann, will move on while it is hard to see Bent wanting to play in the Championship.

So having a young talent like Mikey Drennan waiting in the wings can only be a good thing; regardless of whether they stay up or not.

The Kilkenny-born striker has been compared to former Villain Robbie Keane and is an absolute goal-scoring machine. Last season saw him become a regular fixture in the under-18 and reserve teams, scoring a brace against Sunderland to secure the Barclays Reserve League South title and this season things have gone up a level.

The Irishman has been in great shape all season and physically he has also come on; bulking up and becoming a much stronger opponent for rival defenders.

But it is still that lethal goalscoring streak that is his best characteristic. Just last week he scored a hat-trick, again against Sunderland, in a 4-0 win including a delightful free-kick.

In the NextGen Series he has been the star striker in the competition scoring six goals to make him the tournament’s top scorer. Considering last season’s joint top scorers were Jean Marie Dongou and Viktor Fischer, who scored seven goals apiece and are now being called the next Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi respectively, tells you something about his talents.

He is just one of several young talents coming through the ranks at Villa along with the likes of Jordan Graham, Graham Burke, Jack Grealish and Janoi Donacien. So even if things don’t pan out quite like Villa hope this season the glass may be half full when it comes to the promising youth still being produced at the club.

Have you seen Mikey Drennan play? Is he Aston Villa’s best young talent?

image: © ell brown

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