New Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard says that he and his staff are committed to improving every single player’s performance at Villa Park and emphasised the desire to get youngsters involved - but only if they prove their worth.
Cameron Archer has grabbed headlines on numerous occasions this season and players like Jacob Ramsey and Jaden Philogene-Bidace have seen themselves become main stays in and around the Villa first team.
And it didn’t take Gerrard long to start taking note. He dropped a cheeky side-eye emoji on an Aston Villa Instagram post that was congratulating Ramsey on his man-of-the-match award during his recent England U21 showing.
Archer, Ramsey, Philogene-Bidace, Carney Chukwuemeka & Aaron Ramsey were all part of their respective Young Lions’ set-ups in the most recent international break and the new manager is keen for those and others to prove they are good enough for the first team.
“Not just myself, my staff, it’s part of our jobs and roles,” Gerrard said when asked if he thinks he can help the youngsters get even better due to his own personal experience.
“We have a responsibility to try and improve every player of Aston Villa.
“We will give loads of opportunities for youngsters to train with us on the right days and the right times. There’s already half a dozen that have played in the first team and have taken their opportunity.
“I think the message to the whole academy, especially the lads that are a lot older and closer and on the fringe of the first team is - we’ll be watching them, every move they make. On and off the pitch.
“The ball is very much in their court to go and prove to us that they are capable of being a regular in this team. They will get opportunities if they are good enough.”