Which players from the NextGen Series winning team could make the grade in 2013-14?
Aston Villa may have struggled in the fight against relegation last season but the youngsters were in incredible form last season.
The NextGen Series is the pinnacle of European youth club football and Aston Villa overcame the likes of Sporting Lisbon, Chelsea and Arsenal at the finals weekend at Easter to complete a memorable victory.
But which players from that triumphant team could make the grade in the first-team next season?
The Irish forward was tipped as one of the payers to watch for Villa at the competition and he didn’t disappoint. The 19-year-old was the hero of the Easter weekend finals where his three goals; including a double in the final against Chelsea proved vital.
He signed a new two-year deal in the summer and after finishing as joint top-scorer in the competition last season he will hope to get a few opportunities in the first-team next season.
The exciting winger was tipped as one to watch in 2013 and he still has a while left in the year to make an impact.
He looked a dangerous prospect throughout the competition and despite his age would relish first-team football.
The St Lucian reminds me of Rio Ferdinand in his playing style. Composed but commanding he had an excellent season last year and could be a future feature at the heart of Villa’s defence.
Injury robbed the striker of a chance to shine at the finals weekend at Easter but prior to that he was banging in the goals and looked a highly talented prospect for the club.
If he continues that form next season he might just get the nod for the odd League Cup game or two.
The captain of the triumphant side this Irishman has already impressed in pre-season this summer.
A technically gifted midfielder with all the tools to fit into Paul Lambert’s style of play; out of the five he is the player we are more likely to become accustomed to in 2013-14.
Who do you think will make the breakthrough next season?
image: © NextGen Series