In an Instagram post this morning, eagle-eyed fans have spotted a hint that Chukwuemeka will be heavily involved next season.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Eagle-eyed Aston Villa fans have spotted something that hints towards heavy involvement in the Senior Squad for Carney Chukwuemeka next season amid rumoured interest from serial-developers Borussia Dortmund.
In an Instagram story from team-mate Jaden Philogene-Bidace – who made his professional debut in the same game as Carney – coming off the bench in Aston Villa’s win against Tottenham Hotspur, there is a huge clue as to how highly the 17-year-old midfielder is thought of at the club.
In the picture, Carney Chukwuemeka is wearing training gear adorned with the ‘8’ squad number, previously vacated by Henri Lansbury who had his contract mutually terminated earlier this year. The midfielder has appeared for both the youth and senior sides with the number 60 in the past.
Interestingly, Philogene-Bidace is also wearing a different number. The winger made his debut with the number ’52’, yet is wearing the number 56 in the image.
Many thought that £14,000,000 January signing Morgan Sanson would take on the number which he previously owned at former club Marseille, but it seems that the Frenchman, who has played 291 minutes of football since arriving due to injury, is happy to stay as number 25.
The highly-rated youngster seems to still be training at Villa Park despite the season ending, and is pictured alongside Keinan Davis, Jacob Ramsey, Jaden Philogene-Bidace and Wesley Moraes.
The number 8 has seen a range of players take it, including David Platt, Gordon Cowans, Cyrille Regis, Gary Shaw, Robert Pires, James Milner, Idrissa Gueye and Andy Townsend to name but a few. If Chukwuemeka can have a career half as successful as some of those players, fans would be estatic.
With rumoured interest this summer from the likes of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, who would both be exciting prospects for the youngster, it may be that Dean Smith has pulled Carney to the side, offered words of encouragement and told him of his level of involvement next season – wrapping that all up with giving the midfielder the most senior squad number for an academy graduate in the squad. For reference, Keinan Davis currently holds the number 39, while Jacob Ramsey has the number 41.
Of course, without the confirmation of the club, this is just speculation. But it’s unlikely that Carney’s delved into lost-and-found and picked out some old Henri Lansbury clothes to train in.
Fans are excited to see more of the 17-year-old – who narrowly missed out on a debut goal – and rightly so.