Follow us on Twitter @claretandview // Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)

In Steve Bruce’s press conference today, he announced that young Harry McKirdy had signed for Crewe on loan until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old has connections with the area after being brought up in Stoke-on-Trent and being on Stoke City’s books until the age of fourteen, where he then signed for Aston Villa.

McKirdy, who recently extended his contract to 2019 has played 10 times for the U23’s in the Premier League 2 this season – scoring five goals – had previously been on loan at Stevenage in the earlier half of the season. Stevenage’s manager commented on young Harry, saying he “had a bright future”.

McKirdy’s loan to Crewe signals a changing of the winds for Aston Villa, who have in previous years loaned out talent to all-and-sundry across the lower leagues and paid the price when they’ve not developed as well as the club would have liked.

The likes of Jordan Graham, Ricardo Calder and Callum Robinson were both sent on multiple loan deals, with little care or thought until they were deemed surplus to requirements and shipped away on free transfers. Two of the aforementioned play in the Championship.

With McKirdy joining Crewe, he’s moving or commuting to an area that he’ll be used to, oatcakes and all. As well as this, Crewe have some of the best facilities amongst the lower leagues and have produced a number of talented players in the past.

This can only benefit Harry, and his arrival at Alexandra will surely be welcomed. The forward has been training with the Senior Squad in recent times, and featured regularly in pre-season alongside the likes of Jake Doyle-Hayes – but is yet to receive his professional first team debut.

Things are bright for this youngster, and many others – let’s just hope this trend continues.

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