Gary Gardner excited by Villa team-mate Rushian Hepburn-Murphy

General view of Paper planes on the pitch thrown by Aston Villa fans in protest - Villa Park

The Aston Villa midfielder is excited by the young teenage striker.

Gary Gardner  - Aston Villa in action

Gary Gardner has told Aston Villa's official website that young striker Rushian Hepburn-Murphy has a massive future with the West Midlands club.

The 17-year-old is making quite a name for himself with Aston Villa in pre-season after scoring twice in friendlies so far - including one in the 3-0 win over Cambridge United.

Villa will certainly need a Championship-proven hitman this season if they want to secure an immediate return to the Premier League.

Aston Villa's Gary Gardner (L) in action

But Hepburn-Murphy is making the right kind of sounds as far as making Roberto Di Matteo's senior squad for the upcoming season.

Gardner, who has been with Aston Villa since he was 12, says that he has never seen a young striker as talented as the teenager during his stint with the Villans, and the 24-year-old backs him to have a huge impact on the team in the coming years.

“Rushian’s got a bright future. He’s a good lad. He works hard and he’s probably one of the best youngsters I’ve seen coming through as a striker," he told the club's official website.

“He’s lightning quick and has a massive future at Aston Villa Football Club."

General view of Paper planes on the pitch thrown by Aston Villa fans in protest - Villa Park

The emphasis for Di Matteo simply must be on bringing in a striker, despite Hepburn-Murphy's promise.

Goals and only goals will do if they want promotion, but Di Matteo, who has signed three players so far, has not brought in a centre-forward.

The Italian does, however, have time on his side. There is still over a month left in the transfer window, but the former Chelsea manager will want a marksman sooner rather than later.

General view before the game - Villa Park

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