We took a look at how the next generation of Aston Villa are performing on their loans, with some finding the experience better than others.
Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)
Aston Villa have loaned out a host of youngsters throughout the season, but most notably they allowed a number of highly rated players, often dubbed the next generation, leave in January to a host of League One and League Two sides.
We’re going to look at the players who left, most of whom are playing for their future at Aston Villa as they are out of contract in the summer, and how they’ve been performing at their respective clubs.
Clark is one of the most high profile youngsters that has left Villa Park this season on loan, joining struggling Port Vale in Sky Bet League Two.
He’s been considered a senior member of their side, and has played in a number of games at left-back. It’s good to see that one of our loan players is actually getting experience and playing in a tough league rather than sitting on the bench week-in week-out.
He’s appeared thirty-three times for the Valiants, and started thirty-two of those games, amassing an impressive 2,800 minutes for the club.
Their club captain has commented on Clark, saying that he “looks like a player that has played over 200 games already”, which bodes well should Villa decide to extend his contract in the summer, as he could easily provide cover in the left-back position.
Highly-rated O’Hare has had a blistering start to his time at Carlisle United, achieving two man-of-the-match performances in just eight games.
He’s started in every game that he’s played in and only been subbed off in two of them – relatively impressive for a youngster – and has amassed nearly 700 minutes of football.
In these eight games, O’Hare has managed six shots, two of which were on target and one of which went into the back of the net.
For a player of such diminutive stature, he’s doing well in an extremely tough league, and has drawn 17 fouls – reminiscent of Jack Grealish’s role in how Aston Villa play.
Unlike O’Hare, McKirdy has struggled for game time in his loan at FA Cup giant killers Newport County.
He hasn’t started a single game and has only played 65 minutes of football in his time at the club – across six appearances.
As a striker, his stats aren’t too great either, as he hasn’t managed a single shot on goal.
A poor loan spell for McKirdy, through no fault of his own, as he’s fighting to continue his Aston Villa career.
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy has been on the fringes of the first team ever since Aston Villa were relegated from the Premier League, and played in a number of games at the start of this season under Steve Bruce.
After a number of injuries over the last few seasons, this loan is worthwhile as Hepburn-Murphy will be getting the game time he needs.
He has played in ten games for Cambridge United, starting five and being subbed off in four of those. Rushian has amassed 500 minutes of game time and scored one goal, whilst assisting another.
It’s not been as easy for Jake Doyle-Hayes at Cambridge, however.
The midfielder, who many fans expected to be pushing for a starting place this season at Villa, has only managed 100 minutes of football since joining.
He’s played a full 90, and ten minutes in another game.
Corey Blackett-Taylor is playing at a higher level than his team-mates, in League One with local side Walsall.
He’s racked up 166 minutes of football across five appearances, where he has started one and been subbed off in the same game.
When he arrived at Walsall, he said:
“I want to show people what I can do with and without the ball. I want to bring something different to the team.
I want to add some goals and assists to my game and help the team move forward and see how far we can push ourselves up the table.”