Aston Villa are sure to be relegated at the end of this season.
Wilkins said: “Villa haven’t been able to get results with the players who are in there at the moment, and so what I would do personally is sling three or four of them [youngsters] in. I know it’s difficult when you’re struggling to bring in the young blokes, but you never know what these young men can do. And they do have at Aston Villa some youngsters who could go in there and no doubt hold their own. Jordan Lyden has crept himself in.”
Wilkins spent a few months at Villa Park as assistant boss, working under Tim Sherwood, although he left the club at the same time as the former manager.
He will be well aware of the qualities of various youth talents, and Wilkins believes that some of those young players are already good enough to be in the first-team.
Considering how many of the senior players are not performing, and with relegation an almost certain likelihood, Garde may as well throw some of the youngsters into action to prepare them for next season.
When Villa do get relegated, they are sure to lose a number of their first-team players, and the core of their squad could be made up by current youth players.
To prepare them for the Championship, Garde may as well start playing them now, and show them what it means to turn out for Aston Villa.
When asked who he likes in the youth system, Wilkins namechecked Jordan Lyden, the 19-year-old midfielder who has featured in two FA Cup ties this season.
Garde looks keen to use him, and now should be the time that Lyden start to feature more and more in the Premier League.