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Aston Villa have a player with “immense potential” on their books in the shape of former Feyenoord defender Lamare Bogarde, academy manager Mark Harrison has told the Birmingham Mail.

With the exception of a Chelsea side that’s throwing truck-loads of cash at every problem like it’s 2004, Aston Villa arguably enjoyed the most successful transfer window of any Premier League club.

In Matty Cash, Emi Martinez, Bertrand Traore, Ross Barkley and Ollie Watkins, Dean Smith has five new players capable of strolling into his starting XI.

PEP GUARDIOLA WILL BE SACKED

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Meanwhile, behind the scenes Villa have been working their fingers to the bone trying to lure some of the most exciting young talent to Bodymoor Heath.

It’s fair to say they have succeeded too, convincing former Exeter City wonderkid Ben Chrisene to snub Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Liverpool while snapping up Oliwier Zych, Ruben Shakpoke, Sil Swinkels, Aaron O’Reilly and Caolan McBride.

In time, however, 16-year-old Bogarde could prove to be the cream of a very talented crop.

Photo by Filipe Farinha/Getty Images for DFB

“He is a player with immense potential and the commitment that will go into fulfilling that starts now,” Harrison said after the Dutch youth star produced a goal and an assist on his U18 debut.

Premier League rivals also wanted to sign Bogarde, with clubs in Italy and Germany also left disappointed by his summer switch to Birmingham.

And in Smith, Villa have a coach with a fine track record when it comes to blooding unproven youngsters. Bogarde is in good hands.

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