After his stunning hat-trick against Barrow in the Carabao Cup, Cameron Archer could prove to be Aston Villa’s ace in the pack this season.
The 19-year-old has come through the youth ranks at the club, and while he spent time out on loan at Solihull Moors last season, he has featured at both U18s and U23s level for Villa.
It was with the latter that he began to excel and show his quality in particular, scoring 11 goals and providing six assists in 31 appearances, and that ultimately played a pivotal part in why Dean Smith gave the youngster a chance to impress.
So, what can we expect from Archer this season?
Chances will be limited, in truth. With Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings ahead of him in the pecking order at senior level at Villa, he’ll have to be patient and wait for his opportunities.
As he showed for the U23s in our win over Wycombe in the EFL Trophy last week though, a game in which he scored and grabbed two assists, he’s ready to build on that impressive outing at Barrow and continue to make a case to Smith.
That is brilliant to see in a young player as he evidently has the drive and determination to now take this chance and learn as much as possible from his senior teammates with Villa having opted against loaning him out and instead keeping him around the squad.
Nevertheless, there is arguably no reason why he shouldn’t be involved from the start against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup, and hopefully in the following rounds should we advance beyond the third at the expense of Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Further, while the hope is that both Watkins and Ings remain healthy throughout the campaign, Archer will be on hand to step in if Smith is short of options, and perhaps to add another dynamic to the attack if we’re going in search of goals depending on what the game dictates.
With his pace, movement, awareness and instinct to score goals, Villa have got a real talent in Archer and with the next few months presented as an opportunity to showcase his talent and solidify his future at the club, it’s hoped that he is able to continue to deliver when called upon and make a difference for the side.