Aston Villa starlet Louie Barry pushing for first team call-up

Aston Villa starlet Louie Barry pushing for first team call-up before the end of the season after scoring 18 goals in 20 matches for the club’s U23s

  • The 17-year-old scored again for U23s on Friday in win over Newcastle United 
  • He scored on his first-team debut in the FA Cup against Liverpool in January
  • Villa boss Dean Smith will not rush talented youngsters into the Premier League

Aston Villa’s teenage goal machine Louie Barry is pushing for a first team call-up after impressing for the club’s U23s.

The 17-year-old scored again on Friday in Villa U23s’ 2-0 win over Newcastle United with a smart, right-footed finish into the top corner. It took his tally to 18 goals in 20 games this season, while he also scored for the first team on his debut in the FA Cup against Liverpool in January.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp compared Barry to Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy after the match, saying: ‘Little Jamie Vardy was a proper threat.’ 

Louie Barry scored for the first team on his debut in the FA Cup against Liverpool in January

While former Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie says Barry reminds him of former England striker Michael Owen.

Villa look unlikely to make a late play for Europe and, despite a clamour from supporters and pundits to throw Barry into the fray, manager Dean Smith has been more cautious. He is yet to include The England U18 international in a Premier League matchday squad.

‘I’ll draft him in when I think he’s ready,’ said Smith last month. ‘We have a lot of the younger players training with us regularly.

‘Louie’s developing really well. He scored a hat-trick against Burton in the FA Youth Cup last week which I witnessed. Age-teamed football is obviously very different to open-age football. The FA Youth Cup, we’ve got a great young crop. We’re doing well and our academy is thriving again which is what we wanted and Louie Barry’s one of a few with Carney Chukwuemeka and Aaron Ramsey. We’ve got Jacob Ramsey in our team at the moment; Kaine Kesler.

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith will not rush into giving first-team chances to talented  youngsters

‘We’ve got a lot of players who are progressing but the Premier League is a massive jump and they have to be showing that when they’re training with our first-team group as well.

‘We’ve got an elite group that have been training with us that have been doing well in their age group, but what they have to do is to make sure that when they come with the first team that they’re at the top of their game because that’s where they will get picked to be in the squad and be involved in our squad… when they’ve shown that they can compete at first-team level as well.’

Barry joined Villa from Barcelona in a deal worth up to £3.5million after initially starting out in West Bromwich Albion’s academy.

Former Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie, talking to Football Fancast, added: ‘He reminds me of a young Michael Owen in the fact that he’s very slight, small, but he’s very quick, and I’m surprised that he hasn’t been given a bit more of a chance since that game.

‘I just feel that he should now be getting into the first–team squad, being on the bench and getting thrown on for the last 20 minutes, relieving a bit of pressure, just because he’s got that pace that he can burn off.’

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