Aston Villa forward Graham Burke hoping to follow Jack Grealish's lead

The 21-year-old Irishman is hoping to emulate his Villa teammate and close friend in using his Notts County loan as a springboard to Premier League success.

Aston Villa forward Graham Burke has told the Irish Independent how he’s hoping to follow close friend Jack Grealish’s lead in using his Notts County loan spell to launch his Premier League career.

Burke, 21, joined the League One club on loan last month and has since become an important part of their bid to avoid the drop, creating both goals in the weekend’s 2-1 home win over Doncaster Rovers to help lift them out of the drop zone with one match left.

Villa teammate Grealish also inspired the Magpies to a dramatic escape last season, scoring five goals in 39 games, and has since used his first taste of senior football to help him break into his parent club’s line-up in recent weeks, earning rave reviews from four straight starts.

Now Burke, who lined up alongside his Ireland Under-21 teammate on Villa’s 2013 NextGen series-winning side, is bidding to follow a similar path.

“You see the likes of Jack doing well here and that shows I can do the same," he said.

"I'm playing football with a smile on my face. I've played on both wings and up top, but my preferred position is to be off the striker, in the hole. I believe that I can make things happen there."

Born in Dublin, Burke joined Villa in 2009 and has since gone on to star for both the club’s Under-18s and reserves, as well as earning his senior debut in August 2012 as a late substitute in a 3-0 League Cup win over Tranmere Rovers.

The promising attacker is out of contract at the end of the season but, with Sherwood known for putting his faith in homegrown talent, is hoping his loan form proves enough to earn him a new deal.

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