The latest version of the hit sport simulation game is out – at least the beta version of it is. How do the Football Manager scouts rate some of Villa’s young talent?

Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy


With the beta of Football Manager 2023 releasing towards the conclusion of last week, football and gaming fans everywhere rushed to download it and see what changes had been made to some of their favourite players at their favourite club.

In the latest iteration of the game, as it stands, Steven Gerrard is still the manager of the club and Douglas Luiz is still out of contract at the end of the season – after all, it’s not the full game release and these will be fixed before it does launch properly on November 8th. But one thing that readers can be certain about is that the scouts and systems that Football Manager (and Sports Interactive) tend to use in their game are incredibly realistic and for the most-part an accurate depiction of a player within a simulation.

So, with that, who are the highest rated young Aston Villa players on the new game? Have the breakthrough seasons of the likes of Jacob Ramsey made them top the list, or is there another name atop the list?

We’ve taken a look at any players below the age of 23 and how the game rates their current ability, their potential and how much they’re currently “worth”. For reference, the current ability star rating is based upon the quality of the overall squad, in which there are six “three and a half star” players: Digne, Watkins, Ings, Carlos, Coutinho and Martinez. Five star is the best possible potential, and it is quite unlikely these players would meet it in game or real life.

Jacob Ramsey – 21 years old – Transfer value: £31,000,000 to £36,000,000

The most recent academy graduate to take the mantle of “homegrown hero” has been Jacob Ramsey, who truly burst onto the scene last season as he marauded from Aston Villa’s midfield and enticed fans with his mazing runs.

On the latest Football Manager, Ramsey is valued somewhere around £30,000,000 – however teams that are interested in him would likely have to pay far more for his services. Some of his standout attributes include dribbling, work rate, technique, composure, bravery and his speed.

Current ability: Three stars

Potential ability: Four stars

Boubacar Kamara – 22 years old – Transfer value: £27,000,000 to £35,000,000

Considering Boubacar Kamara was a free transfer, his value according to Football Manager is certainly something to keep note of. Fans in real life have been impressed by the French international, but are eagerly awaiting his return from injury.

Like Ramsey, Kamara is valued around the £30,000,000 mark. His standout attributes include passing, tackling, team work, pace and balance – and there is some decent growing room despite his older age.

Current ability: Three stars

Potential ability: Four stars

Cameron Archer – 20 years old – Transfer value: £17,500,000 to £23,000,000

Cameron Archer has certainly stepped into the limelight recently, and you’d be able to tell just by comparing his profile on the previous version of the game to the current one. The forward looks like a real Sky Bet Championship hotshot – or even someone that could fill in in the Premier League at a push.

Archer is valued around £20,000,000 and it’s clear to see why. His standout attributes include great finishing and acceleration, and equally strong pace, composure and off the ball movement. Interestingly, Archer’s compared as the “next Michael Owen” on the game – hopefully without the injuries.

Current ability: Two stars

Potential ability: Three and a half stars

Kerr Smith – 17 years old – Transfer value: £16,5000,000 to £26,000,000

Considering Kerr Smith hasn’t even made his senior debut yet, he’s sitting at around the same value as Cameron Archer, which says a lot. The Scottish defender, who stands at 6’3”, made a number of senior appearances for Dundee United before Aston Villa secured his signature, beating a number of other Premier League sides.

Kerr is valued around £20,000,000 and has some stand-out attributes for a centre-back. His leading attributes include jumping reach, positioning, determination and tackling. He’s dubbed the “new Richard Gough” on the game.

Current ability: Two stars

Potential ability: Five stars

Kaine Kesler-Hayden – 19 years old – Transfer value: £14,500,000 to £20,000,000

Kesler-Hayden has improved across his last three loans, making over fifteen appearances for Swindon and MK Dons last year, before moving to the Championship with Huddersfield this season – and it’s clear that Football Manager rates him both as a defender and a winger.

Kaine is valued at around £17,000,000 and his standout attributes include acceleration, pace, agility, stamina, bravery, flair and composure.

Current ability: Two stars

Potential ability: Four stars

Tim Iroegbunam – 18 years old – Transfer value: £12,500,000 to £15,500,000

Perhaps the best thing Steven Gerrard did at Aston Villa was give young Tim Iroegbunam his debut. He’s now appearing regularly in real life for Queens Park Rangers on loan, under former assistant manager Michael Beale. Gerrard rated him – and so do Football Manager.

Iroegbunam is valued at around £13,500,000 and is incredibly well rounded as a midfielder despite his young age. His standout attributes include natural fitness, acceleration, pace, aggression, technique and first touch.

Current ability: Two stars

Potential ability: Five stars

Jaden Philogene-Bidace – 20 years old – Transfer value: £11,000,000 to £14,500,000

Philogene-Bidace has perhaps become a forgotten man when it comes to Aston Villa’s youth, but Football Manager think he’s one of the better options in terms of his future potential.

Jaden’s value sits at around £13,000,000 but his attributes could possibly warrant more than that. He’s skilled at acceleration, flair, work rate, off the ball, pace, finishing and dribbling.

Current ability: Two and a half stars

Potential ability: Four and a half stars

Finn Azaz – 21 years old – Transfer value: £7,200,000 to £9,200,000

Finn Azaz has been picking up plaudits over the past season and a half, first on loan at Newport County, and now at Plymouth. The goal-scoring midfielder is a bit older than some of his peers, but he’s knocking on the door at Aston Villa just the same.

His value sits at around £8,500,000, with strong attributes across first touch, passing, technique, off the ball, stamina, determination and composure.

Current ability: Two stars

Potential ability: Four stars

Aaron Ramsey – 19 years old – Transfer value: £10,000,000 to £12,000,000

Jacob’s younger brother Aaron, at times, gets labelled as the better of the two – but Football Manager think differently. Out on loan at Norwich, Aaron Ramsey could get close to his brother but may not reach the same hights, according to the game.

His value sits at around £11,000,000, and he has leading attributes in vision, technique, passing, dribbling, composure, balance and agility.

Current ability: Two stars

Potential ability: Three and a half stars

Ben Chrisene – 18 years old – Transfer value: £1,300,000 to £4,900,000

Ben Chrisene, one of the goal scorers from Aston Villa’s incredible FA Youth Cup victory, is the final name of note on Football Manager 2023. Currently out on loan at Kilmarnock, Chrisene is able to play all the way down the left flank, and also as both a central and attacking midfielder.

Chrisene’s value sits at around £3,000,000. He has top attributes in determination, technique, work rate, flair, composure and acceleration.

Current ability: Two stars

Potential ability: Four stars

So Jacob Ramsey sits atop of the most valuable youngsters at Aston Villa at the moment – and that’s probably true to real life – he’d currently be the player to bring in the most money for his services (and partially because of his long contract).

In terms of footballing ability though, Football Manager 2023 think fans need to be looking out for Kerr Smith, Tim Iroegbunam and Jaden Philogene-Bidace as potential wonderkids!

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