Aston Villa's Lewis Kinsella tweets ahead of potential first-team debut

The 20-year-old defender could be in the starting line-up for the match at Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon.

Aston Villa defender Lewis Kinsella could make his first-team debut in tomorrow’s Premier League clash at Newcastle United, and it looks like he hasn’t escaped the traditional initiation song.

Kinsella, 20, has travelled with the squad to the North East due to a spate of defensive injuries, and could now be thrown in at the deep end with a start at left-back.

Kieran Ricardson, who started at the position in last weekend’s 2-1 home defeat to Stoke before limping off just before half-time, has been ruled out for the trip, while his replacement, Aly Cissokho, is also a fitness doubt ahead of Saturday afternoon.

New boss Tim Sherwood has a further at problem right-back for his first match on road, with Alan Hutton struggling with a knock, as well as in central defence, where Philippe Senderos is still out and Ron Vlaar is suspended following his late sending off against the Potters.

Either Matthew Lowton or the versatile Leandro Bacuna is expected to deputise on the right, with Jores Okore and Ciaran Clark reunited in the centre, but a lack of cover on the left could hand Kinsella his first professional appearance.

The untried rookie is thought to be contending with Nathan Baker for the start, but the latter has been struggling with a knee problem himself of late, and is far from a natural fit for the position.

Starting out his career at Arsenal before leaving the Emirates for Villa, Kinsella has established himself as a regular for the Under-21s over the past two seasons, and was also a part of the side which won the 2012-13 NextGen Series.

Having received widespread plaudits for his work with Tottenham Hotspur’s development team, Sherwood’s appointment led to much excitement about the potential impact his hiring could have on the club’s emerging talent, such as Jack Grealish and Callum Robinson.

Few would have included Kinsella, who is out of contract at the end of the season, in that conversation a fortnight ago, but he could now be set to earn a valuable chance to prove his potential at St James’ Park.

It looks like the rest of the first-team squad is making him feel more than welcome, too, but one would hope that his signing is an improvement on Carles Gil’s effort following his arrival from Valencia last month.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch