Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has now revealed that the club could let youngster Cameron Archer go out on loan this season.
On August 5, the club announced that Archer had signed a new five-year deal to commit his long-term future to Villa, and it was specifically noted in the statement that Gerrard was planning to give him an important role in the first-team squad this season.
However, just over a fortnight later it appears as though Gerrard and the Villa management have performed a U-turn and are now willing to green light a loan exit for Archer this season, if we sign another forward before the transfer deadline.
“We’ll do the right thing for Cameron in the short term,” said Gerrard, as per BirminghamLive. “The window’s still open. He’s very much a part of what we’re trying to do here. He’s a massive talent and we love the kid but we’ll do the right thing by him in the coming days.”
While it’s admirable and very much the right thing to do to prioritise what’s best for Archer at this stage of his career as we hope he’ll eventually have a long and successful career with us, it’s yet another baffling case of managing a situation of a player that could, and perhaps should, be part of Gerrard’s plans in the coming weeks and months.
From telling Archer that he will get opportunities in a Villa shirt this season to now just two weeks later telling him he’s likely to move out on loan again comes across as poor management and decision-making as we now seemingly scramble to bring in reinforcements after a disappointing start to the Premier League season.
Having impressed at youth level for us, on loan at Preston last season and again in pre-season earlier this summer, Archer should be getting a chance to put pressure on Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings and get time on the pitch to show his quality.
It is arguably the smarter decision to loan him out so he plays more regularly and develops and improves his game, but the fact that that decision wasn’t made earlier and we’ve now gone full circle on our plan for Archer just comes across so poorly and suggests there is a real lack of clear planning and direction at this stage.