Aston Villa receive surprise recognition as £30m wonderkid hailed

This Aston Villa star has been handed a surprise accolade for his fine form - and it’s not the Player of the Month award.

Jacob Ramsey has been named the 2022/23 Premier League Academy Graduate of the Year following a hugely successful season for Aston Villa.

Having contributed six goals and five assists in 34 top-tier appearances this campaign, the 21-year-old has become a key player as Unai Emery’s side push for European qualification.

Now an England U21 international, Ramsey has proven himself in an array of positions including left midfield, the number 10 role and as a deep-lying playmaker.

The likes of Philippe Coutinho, Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore have hardly had a look in due to the youngster, who scored in the 1-1 draw at Liverpool, being in such fine form.

Saturday’s sharing of points at Anfield marked Ramsey’s 100th appearance in claret and blue but his 101st will be arguably his most important to date.

The Villans take on Brighton & Hove Albion knowing that a win could well secure European football for the first time in over a decade.

It was seen as an unrealistic target even by the incredibly optimistic Emery when he first joined but Villa are just one strong performance away from a tour of the nearby continent.