Aston Villa youngster Jerell Sellars earns coach Gordon Cowans' praise for U21s display

The 19-year-old attacker scored one and set up another in Monday night's 2-2 draw with Blackburn Rovers.

Aston Villa’s Under-21 side had both Adama Traore and Libor Kozak in the starting line-up for Monday night’s 2-2 draw with Blackburn Rovers, but it was 19-year-old forward Jerell Sellars who stood out as their star performer.

The youngster, who started on the left wing, set Villa’s comeback in motion after they went 2-0 down inside the opening 43 minutes, as he pulled a goal back on the hour mark with a composed finish following a poor Blackburn clearance.

With the match at Villa Park reaching its closing stages, he then combined with Adama to set up the 87th-minute equaliser, sending in a cross for Kozak to tap home and hand the hosts a share of the points from their Under-21 Premier League Division 2 clash.

Speaking to AVTV after the game, Villa Under-21 manager Gordon Cowans expressed his delight at the pacey attacker’s performance and was also encouraged by his newfound penchant for getting shots off.

“Jerell finished it very well,” Cowans said of Sellars’ goal. “He’s scored quite a few goals this season, but there are times when he should be shooting when he’s trying to dribble all the time.

“He just needs to get more shots off. It was nice to see Libor finish [his cross] there. Libor was in the right position and finished it well. It just flashed across the goal and he got on the end of it.”

Cowans was also impressed by the brief flashes of skill that the highly-rated Adama showed on the night from the right wing, although he did not believe his side made the most of having the summer signing from Barcelona at their disposal.

“He’s a threat, isn’t he, with his pace and his power,” he added on Adama. “I don’t think we used him enough, though. He didn’t get enough of the ball or isolate people one-on-one at the right times.”

Adama has now made two appearances for Villa’s Under-21s this season, while Sellars has made nine straight starts either up top, on the wing or in a No. 10 role, scoring three times in the process.

The academy graduate, who originally joined the club from Lincoln City in 2012, also recorded four goals and three assists in 21 games for Cowans’ side last term, although he is still to make his first-team debut.

However, he made headlines during pre-season when he came off the bench to score in a 2-0 win at Swindon Town, before following up that performance with an impressive cameo in a 1-1 draw with West Midlands neighbours Walsall.

He is likely not in new boss Remi Garde’s thoughts just yet, but he is certainly one to keep an eye on going forward.

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