Callum Robinson is an 18-year-old English striker who has come through the coveted Aston Villa youth academy. Having scored regularly in Villa’s U18 squad, he then went on to make several appearances for the reserve team recently and has featured in several friendlies this preseason along with fellow academy graduates Jack Grealish and Janoi Donacien.
The Northampton born forward was an essential part of the Next Generation winning side in Italy last year and his industrious displays in the semi-final and final were stand out performances, winning a penalty and tormenting both Sporting Lisbon’s and Chelsea’s defenders with tireless pressing.
His efforts were rewarded with his first professional contract in the summer and this shows that he is part of the future plans for Lambert’s young Lions and, having featured for England’s youth, the future looks bright if he can continue this progress.
Although he has mainly featured as a striker in his career to date, his high work rate means that he could be just as effective on either flank and this is where he has featured under Paul Lambert so far. Despite the less than perfect AVTV coverage meaning that I only caught the last 15 minutes of the 2-0 defeat at Luton last week, Robinson and Grealish’s link-up play caught the eye and in the 5-1 victory at Crewe on Friday he had an equally impressive 30 minute performance – working hard down the left flank and he was unlucky not to score with a 25-yard far-post effort which was well saved.
What I like most about Robinson so far though is his down-to-earth nature that was on show after the Crewe game as he was seen thanking fans after the final whistle and taking the time to have pictures taken and chat with supporters. This characteristic, coupled with being a product of the academy we as fans are so proud of, means that fans will, if they haven’t already, take a firm liking to him.
Perhaps this season is too soon for Robinson to make a breakthrough impact but he will maybe get a few senior appearances in cup games or should injuries take their toll. Being so versatile, hardworking and eager to impress it’s hard to imagine that he will be anywhere other than in the first team in the near future.