AVFC have hidden gem in teen whose "speed is frightening", Dean Smith rates him highly – opinion
Given the number of top-quality right-backs England have at their disposal, it’s perhaps the one area of the squad where Gareth Southgate may feel like he has got more than his fair share of options.
But in Aston Villa youngster Kaine Kesler, the Three Lions boss may well have one for the future. The 17-year-old is seemingly making waves at academy level in the Midlands, and could well be the club’s next break-out star.
The Athletic’s Gregg Evans claimed that he is starting to edge players like Jacob Ramsey in the race to make that all-important breakthrough into the first-team, and that Villa boss Dean Smith rates the young right-back very highly.
Any eagle-eyed fan will have of course spotted him among the substitutes during the side’s Premier League clash against Everton towards the end of last season.
And speaking to The Athletic, one source even said: “He looks like he’s got a real chance of featuring for the first team in the future. His speed is frightening and that could set him apart.”
Evans further added that “senior players have been taken back by his blistering pace and his desire to make an impression when called upon” and that “Kesler travelled with the first team for the pre-season camp in Wales and has been with the seniors for the past four months”.
With Ahmed Elmohamady in the twilight years of his career, Villa understandably spent £16m on Nottingham Forest right-back Matty Cash, and he has been one of the unsung heroes of their season thus far.
But even with his fine start to life at Villa Park, the club could do with some extra competition in that position, especially if Elmohamady’s contract isn’t renewed for the long-term.
If Smith gives him some opportunities to feature perhaps in the upcoming FA Cup, then they could well have an in-house replacement for their Egyptian cult hero.
Whilst he may not be taking over from Cash anytime soon given both of their ages, Villa really do have a hidden gem on their hands in Kesler.
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Source: Football – Football Fan Cast