Official: Kesler, Barry and Raikhy among young Villa stars to sign new contracts

Aston Villa have confirmed that a string of our youth stars have signed new contracts, including Kaine Kesler, Louie Barry and Arjan Raikhy.

Part of the club’s strategy moving forward is to develop top young talents to break into the first-team, creating a sustainable model for success which isn’t heavily reliant on spending big money in the transfer market every year.

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There were positive signs last season as Villa’s youngsters lifted the FA Youth Cup, with more young talents knocking on the door to get an opportunity at senior level.

Jacob Ramsey has now solidified his involvement with the first-team, while both Carney Chukwuemeka and Jaden Philogene-Bidace made their debuts late on last season.

That in turn shows that there certainly is a pathway for the youngsters to get chances at Villa, and that has been reinforced by the number of contracts that have been agreed this summer.

As per the club’s first announcement, Kesler was the top name to agree new terms as he has penned a five-year contract, with Mungo Bridge, Akos Onodi, Viljami Sinisalo, Myles Sohna, DJ Sturridge and Tyreik Wright all signing new deals too.

Not long after, Villa confirmed another string of new deals, with an option to extend Barry’s contract being exercised to keep him at the club until 2024, while Brad Young, Hayden Lindley, Arjan Raikhy, Filip Marschall and Chisom Afoka have all signed new deals. Under-18 team-mate Patrick Zito has also agreed a short-term contract.

Many of those named above were influential in our FA Youth Cup success last season, and it’s hoped that they can all push on and continue to make strong cases for involvement at senior level before too long.

With a thriving youth set-up, it’s another real positive for Villa and Smith, as it’s hoped that they will get opportunities to at least offer depth which in turn will give them chances to develop their respective games through gaining experience and maturity against top-level opposition.