Aston Villa have allowed three of their youngsters to depart on loan over the last 24 hours. Viljami Sinisalo has joined Burton Albion, Finn Azaz has linked up with Plymouth Argyle and more recently Louie Barry has joined MK Dons.
I am sure plenty more will follow as Villa look to get their youngsters as much first-team exposure as possible.
Sinisalo spent time on loan at Ayr United in 2020/21 where he made 29 appearances in all competitions. His loan was cut short due to a groin injury but the 20-year-old spent time around the senior team last year.
The goalkeeper has represented Finland at u17, u19 and u20 levels. Sinisalo also kept a clean sheet in Villa’s recent 0-4 pre-season win over Walsall. It is thought that he is held in the highest regard at Aston Villa so his progress this season will be interesting.
Azaz was signed from West Bromwich Albion last summer before immediately being loaned out to Newport County.
He made 45 appearances and scored 7 goals while on loan with the Exiles across all competitions. The 21-year-old was then awarded the League 2 EFL Young player of the season.
I can’t say I know too much about Azaz other than him catching my eye a few times when Newport was on the box last season. He was also a stand-out performer in the Walsall victory on Saturday despite only playing 45 minutes.
His age would suggest his days are numbered at Villa with their new philosophy on youngsters but Azaz signed a new deal before going out on loan so he will also be one to watch this year and it will certainly be interesting to see what the future holds for the midfielder.
Probably the most famous of the three. Another player who originally comes from West Brom, followed by a spell in Barcelona and then joining Villa in 2020. We all know about his goal in the League Cup game against Liverpool but what else has he been up to?
Barry joined Ipswich on loan last summer but failed to set the world alight. It was unclear if it was the level or the playing style but he was recalled to Villa in January after just 6 appearances.
The 19-year-old then joined Swindon Town in League 2 and this is where he found his feet. He contributed to 6 goals in 16 appearances where he impressed.
Many will have one eye on Barry, being one of the most known players in our academy. The loan move to MK Dons in League 1 will be a test for the young forward following his failed loan spell at Ipswich.
I am sure many more will follow these three out the door in the coming weeks to seek first-team football. It will be interesting to see who Steven Gerrard keeps around and who departs.