Lamare Bogarde and Ben Chrisene, who were both signed in the summer, have penned their first professional contracts with Aston Villa.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa’s summer window foray into the youth development market has paid dividends it seems, with two of the summer’s young signings putting pen to paper and signing professional contracts today.
Lamare Bogarde, the nephew of the former Chelsea footballer Winston Bogarde, signed his first senior deal today after making his senior debut for the club in the Liverpool F.A Cup tie – at just 17.
He impressed after starting the game, and has showcased his versatility both playing in defence and in midfield – picking up both goals and assists in his first run-out for the academy side.
The Dutch youngster has received plaudits from both Dean Smith and Mark Delaney, which has seen him play for the Under 23 side before even seeing his 16th year out.
Academy Manager Mark Harrison believes that he has ‘acquitted himself very well’ and has settled into a central midfield role in the development side.
“He joined us in the summer and since then we’ve been very pleased with his development – which has seen him play up an age group a number of times despite his young age.”
The other youngster to sign a professional deal was Ben Chrisene, who joined Aston Villa from Exeter City in the summer after breaking their ‘youngest player’ record the season prior, formerly held by Chelsea’s on-loan starlet Ethan Ampadu.
Capped at Under 15, Under 16 and Under 17 level for England, Chrisene has also played for the Under 23 side at Aston Villa this season despite only recently turning 17.
Able to play in a number of positions, much like Bogarde, Chrisene has been seen to play at centreback, central midfield and at left-back, the latter of which he has enjoyed most of his minutes at.
Mark Harrison said of Chrisene:
“He’s played regularly for the Under 18s and just before Christmas played at a higher level on a couple of occasions.
“We’ve been very pleased with his development.”
The duo signing professional contracts signals an impression has been made after the strong performance despite defeat, and it is expected that other players who made an impression that night could have won themselves a senior deal at the club in the near future.