Aston Villa midfielder Callum O’Hare has caught the attention of manager Dean Smith, as reported by Birmingham Live.
Smith was present as Villa’s under-23s suffered a 5-2 defeat to Newcastle United last Monday, and was joined by assistant manager John Terry and sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch.
The young Villains were swept aside by a clinical Newcastle side, which was spearheaded by Danish prodigy Elias Sorensen.
Smith, however, insisted that there are good players within the team and was particularly impressed by 20-year-old O’Hare:
“Callum took the eye with his two goals and there are some good players there who just need to learn not to be too emotional when they lose a goal.
“I speak on a daily basis with Mark and Kevin (academy coaches) and we have had a number of the youngsters training in and around the first-team so we can judge their abilities.”
O’Hare is an creative midfielder who can also operate as a striker and has already represented England at youth level. With Villa struggling to haul themselves into the promotion picture, he may be handed an opportunity to shine at senior level sooner rather than later. The versatile prodigy has already tasted first-team football and is one of several promising talents that will be knocking on Smith’s door.
Fellow prospects Keinan Davis and Rushian Hepburn-Murphy have been involved with England’s under-20 side this year and will be hoping to break into the first-team at Villa Park this season.
Villa’s senior side host Bolton Wanderers on Friday night, a game that will be followed by a daunting trip to high-flying Derby County and a Midlands derby against Birmingham City.