Aston Villa teenager Jordan Lyden has told The World Game in his native Australia that he wants to push for the first team this season.
Lyden, 19, joined Villa from ECU Joondalup in 2012, and was hoping to follow in the footsteps of his compatriots Shane Lowry and Chris Herd, who came up through the ranks at Villa Park.
The midfielder is currently captaining the Villa Under-21 side, and is looking to continue his development before making a real push for the first team.
Lyden spoke to The World Game in Australia about a number of things at Villa, particularly noting that he wants to impress manager Tim Sherwood, who has a history of blooding young players in the first team setup, and acknowledged that he still has plenty of time ahead of him to make an impact.
"It’s a great thing to be made captain of the Under-21s, especially having been out all of last year," said Lyden. "The main thing is just staying fit. I am 19 now and have age in my side. I am training with the first team and I am in the right place with the right club."
"The coaches have said as long as I keep doing what I am doing there's no reason why I can't push on to the first team. Tim Sherwood is very good for bringing youngsters through as he showed in his time at Tottenham and Villa are renowned also for giving youngsters a chance."
Australian youngster Lyden will be compared to many players, but as a defensive midfielder, the natural comparison to make is to his compatriot Mile Jedinak.
The Crystal Palace ace has enjoyed a successful Premier League career since the Eagles' promotion to the top flight in 2013, and Lyden explained why he thinks he is similar to the 31-year-old destroyer.
"I am a bit similar in a way to Mile in that I like to get stuck in with a tackle and I can play at the same time. That’s what Villa seem to like about me ... I can play in the right areas and if I need to mix it up a bit I can. But I like to play football. That's really my game, the technical side of things," he added.
If Lyden can become the next Jedinak, Villa will have a solid, dependable midfielder on their hands. It will take plenty of development and possibly some first team football over the coming years, but given Sherwood's ability to develop young players, Lyden may be at the perfect club to eventually emulate Jedinak.