Steve Bruce obviously felt that Andre Green was not ready for a role in Aston Villa’s first-team despite a number of impressive performances in claret and blue last season, loaning the youngster out to Portsmouth for the season.
But Dean Smith, who replaced Bruce at Villa Park in October, could be the perfect man to help Green realise his vast potential.
The 20-year-old academy graduate looks ready-made for the former Brentford and Walsall boss, with Smith famous both for his attacking brand of football and his willingness to make young, unproven players central to his plans.
And Ollie Watkins gives Green an example to follow.
Watkins linked up with Smith at Brentford after a stellar spell in League Two with Exeter City and, one year after arriving at Griffin Park, Sky Sports are reporting that he now has an asking price of at least £20 million.
Smith got the best out of Watkins’ speed and only honed his goal-scoring instincts during his debut season at Brentford.
Green is a player with similar characteristics, and the new Aston Villa boss should look to set him on a similar path to stardom once his loan spell at Portsmouth comes to an end.