Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink believes his Burton Albion side were defeated by a ‘quality, Premier League player’ as Cameron Archer’s hat-trick led Aston Villa to victory in the EFL Trophy, as he told the Brewers’ website. 

The ovation from a beaming Dean Smith, sitting high in the Pirelli Stadium stands, said more than words ever could. 

Much has been made of the exciting crop of all-conquering youngsters strutting their stuff in claret and blue but, forget that FA Cup display against Liverpool and last year’s Youth Cup triumph; a 4-2 win away from home at an experienced Burton Albion outfit was perhaps the biggest statement of intent yet from the boys from Bodymoor Heath. 

Every Premier League Team’s Best Player Now Vs. 7 Years Ago

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The hosts appeared to be cruising to victory when they stormed into an early 2-0 lead but, from then on, Burton were merely bystanders in the Cameron Archer show. 

A stunning hat-trick – his second of the season already – turned a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 lead; all three of his goals brilliantly dispatched from the edge of the box. 

Do Aston Villa have a star on their hands in Cameron Archer?

“We were in control – we scored two good goals from set pieces and we could have scored more. We had chances, we missed one sitter, but then it’s too easy, isn’t it? It comes too easy (for Villa),” groaned Hasselbaink. 

Photo by James Baylis – AMA/Getty Images

“You think you’re good and that you can stroll through, you don’t have to do things 100% because we’ve already won. When that mentality creeps in, it’s hard to turn that around.  

“The boy that scores, Archer, is a quality player – he’s with the first team, he’s a Premier League player and you see the difference.” 

With Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins enduring an inconsistent start to the season, 19-year-old Archer has done his hopes of a first Premier League start after the international break no harm at all; a sublime hat-trick building on that thumping header against Chelsea and the EFL Cup treble in Barrow. 

Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images

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