In January of 2017, Aston Villa plumped up a near-enough £1,000,000 transfer for a 16-year-old defender, Jacob Bedeau, from Bury.
The youngster had been a part of Bury’s youth system for just six months before he started appearing for the first team, still at 16 – and this sent a host of large clubs into a frenzy to see more of this young talent.
Aston Villa were one of these clubs, scouting Bedeau extensively before agreeing to pay £900,000 to Bury for his services.
Just a number of months before signing him, Jacob Bedeau had been released by Leyton Orient – deemed not good enough for their youth team.
Now nearing 19, Bedeau has been working with the under-23 side since his arrival, and has spent time training with the first team this past season – gaining extensive knowledge from the likes of John Terry and James Chester.
Jacob Bedeau’s Transfer Could be Considered Poor Business by Aston Villa
Although the centre-back, who’s contract runs out in the summer of 2019, was a regular last season for the youth team who came incredibly close to achieving both promotion and a cup win, he still has a long way to go before he is ready for first team action.
His slight build makes him an easy target for attackers, and the conditioning team at the now RECON Training Complex have been working on bulking Jacob Bedeau up.
But the real concern for a number of Villa fans is the fee paid for him.
Over the years, a lot of fans have become accustomed to hearing wonderful things about our youth prospects – before they’re then deemed not good enough and loaned out or eventually released – with a good number of these players now appearing regularly for Championship or promotion challenging League One sides.
If Jacob Bedeau were to be deemed not good enough, or he hasn’t filled out quite as much as the staff hope, and he’s released, that’s a large amount of money gone into purchasing a player and paying him to perform for an academy team and train.
With Villa’s financial situation currently under scrutiny, if Villa were to end up struggling further into the future – it’s possible that the purchase of Bedeau could be seen in a negative light.
Whilst that’s not the player’s fault, it’s another gamble from the hierarchy at Villa Park – and our gambling luck seems to have all but dried up.
Hopefully Jacob Bedeau’s talent comes to fruition and we’ll find ourselves with a quality centre-back in a year or so.
Otherwise, Villa could find themselves ruing the day that they gambled on a 16-year-old.