Sources close to the club believe a wide-scale exodus in regards to the youth team is imminent, with most, if not all of the players that are out of contract this summer not being offered new deals. Callum O’Hare is the only player that has had a new contract at this time.
This morning we shared the rumours of Mitch Clark’s lack of a contract extension at Aston Villa, only to have the news confirmed just a few hours ago.
The 20 year old wing back has recently been told that he will not have a future at Villa Park despite impressing over two pre-seasons under Steve Bruce – but current boss Dean Smith does not see him getting into the squad at a ‘top six Championship club’ according to Clark’s agent.
However, these aren’t the only rumours coming from the youth set up at Aston Villa, as mass-scale changes are underfoot it seems.
More recently, Sean Kimberley, a vital part of the club’s academy since 2007 had parted ways with the club as the figures within Aston Villa’s boardroom are looking at ways of making the academy more productive, and fruitful if you will.
It seems these wide-scale changes are going to affect the future of not just Clark though, with rumours circling that all out of contract youth players will not be offered a new contract at the club.
This includes Kelsey Mooney, pictured above, who has scored six goals in eight appearances in the Premier League 2 this season, as well as moving on loan to Cheltenham Town earlier in the season.
Another forward player who is likely to not see another season at Aston Villa is Harvey Knibbs, who had a real chance to impress during pre-season under Steve Bruce due to injury issues within the striker department. Knibbs did impress, but has failed to make the grade due to injuries and poor goal scoring form, netting three in sixteen appearances.
Corey Blackett-Taylor, who has had first team stints in the past, has spent the last half of the season on loan at Walsall, making ten appearances during his time there as they battle against relegation from League One, is also out of contract this summer. It’s believed he won’t be offered a new contract either.
Another forward player that has struggled to make the grade is Harry McKirdy. He has also struggled with injuries of late, but has spent half a season on loan at Newport County, where he has made ten appearances and scored one goal.
Another big shock is Easah Suliman. The England youth captain has not impressed on two loan spells away from the club and has been in poor form since his return from FC Emmen in January, meaning a player that has been on the outskirts of the first team for some time may not get his big break before his contract is up.
Jack Clarke is also out of contract in the summer, and this is requiring some thought from the club. This may be a decision that goes down to the wire. There are reports that he has signed a new contract that has not been announced, however.
The issue is, with a number of these players, is that they’re simply not that young any more and either have not developed the way that the club would have hoped, have struggled with injury or just simply are considered not to be good enough.
It’s certainly an interesting prospect that the club is making such wide-scale changes.