Aston Villa missed out on the chance to sign Ryan Woods as a youngster.
Stoke City midfielder Ryan Woods claims he turned down a move to Aston Villa as a youngster, London News Online report.
The 26-year-old started his career at Walsall before joining Shrewsbury Town.
But Woods admits he had the opportunity to join Villa’s academy.
Speaking to reporters, the Stoke midfielder claims he didn’t enjoy the experience at Villa Park and promised he would find a way to leave had he joined.
“I went there at 10 or 11 and I just didn’t enjoy it. I grew up as a village kid and it was quite rough. They [Villa] weren’t really my type of people. I said to my dad: ‘If you make me go, I’ll train badly so they don’t take me on anyway’. I never went,” Woods explained.
Woods later went on to join Brentford before Championship strugglers Stoke City spent £7 million on him in the summer of 2018 (Wales Online).
The Staffordshire-born player struggled to get going at the Bet365 Stadium. He has since joined Millwall on loan until the end of the season, reuniting with Gary Rowett.
Woods surely isn’t the only player to have slipped out of Villa’s grasps as a youngster. And judging by his career to date, the Villans may not look back with any real regret.
Woods made just eight Championship appearances for Stoke this season, posting one assist.
Villa, meanwhile, are heavily stocked with midfielders. Dean Smith’s side are 17th in the Premier League table and keeping the goals out has been their problem this season.