Aston Villa are set to win the race for young Exeter City record breaker Ben Chrisene.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa are set to win the race for 16-year old record breaker Ben Chrisene, who became Exeter City’s youngest ever player last August aged 15 years, seven months and one day.
He beat the record that was previously held by now Chelsea (or Leipzig) talent Ethan Ampadu that was set in 2016. Ampadu has also previously been linked with a move to the Midlands over the past few windows.
Exeter City manager Matt Taylor said that the England youth international “will play at the top level” after the youngster made his debut against Coventry City in the Carabao Cup.
And Exeter City’s conveyor-belt of talent has proven to provide a number of talents in recent years, with Ampadu, Swansea City’s Matt Grimes and Brentford’s exceptional forward Ollie Watkins all rising through the ranks.
Following his debut last year, Chrisene was invited to play with Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, Southampton and Liverpool – with Bayern Munich also registering interest.
Ben, who can play either in defence or in midfield, would be another signing to vastly improve the youth set-up at Aston Villa since the arrival of owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, and the re-development of the academy at the club.
He would join the likes of Louie Barry and new signing Sil Swinkels, as well as other talents like Carney Chukwuemeka – who Christian Purslow touted as the most exciting talent of his age in the country.
A fee will have to be agreed between the two clubs, and a failure to do so would see the fee set instead by a Professional Football Compensation Comittee.
Beating the likes of Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Chelsea to the signature of a highly-rated youngster is a real statement of intent for Aston Villa’s future development as the club look to restructure how they bring young talent into the club and eventually into the first team under Academy Manager Mark Harrison.