Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley upbeat on chances of attracting Aston Villa starlets to Fratton Park in January

Danny Cowley is convinced Pompey possess the capabilities to attract Aston Villa’s trophy-winning starlets to Fratton Park.

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 4:55 am

Cowley has attended several Aston Villa under-23 fixtures this season – and the highly-regarded striker is among a number of their players to catch his eye.

Realistically, Pompey face a stiff battle with other clubs to capture Archer on loan, having appeared in the Premier League this term and totalled 10 goals in the Carabao Cup and Papa John’s Trophy.

Nonetheless, there is willing from Cowley.

And he believes the Blues have every chance of tempting some of the Premier League club’s bright prospects to the south coast.

Cowley told The News: ‘Villa have done some really good work with their young players in recent times.

‘Last year they beat Liverpool in the FA Youth Cup and have a very good group of young players, particularly the attacking areas, with pace, power and athleticism.

Aston Villa's Cameron Archer is action against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup in September. Picture: Robin Jones/Getty Images

‘We certainly hope we are in the market to loan them.

‘I wouldn’t have wasted my time watching them so often this year if we didn't think it was possible.

‘There’s a lot to like in terms of Villa’s under-23s players, the focus, the attitude and the work ethic of their players.

‘We are in regular communication with a number of Premier League clubs with regards to their young players.

‘This is networking, it’s for us to present to Premier League clubs our way of working, how we play, how their young players might fit into our way of playing.

‘Also the provisions we have here to support the development of young players.

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‘We enjoy watching under-23s. It was tough in the summer because of Covid restrictions, recruiters hadn’t been able to get to under-23 games because of the restrictions.

‘It has been good this season, where the restrictions have been lifted to be able to go out and watch a lot of football at that level.’

Villa won the FA Youth Cup in May, with a 2-1 triumph over Liverpool.

That squad didn’t feature Acher, who was above the under-18 threshold and instead on loan at non-league Solihull Moors.

And Cowley regards the Bodymoor Heath youth set-up as one of the finest in the country.

He added: ‘Villa are right up there with their youth system.

‘If you look at results in the under-23 Premier League One over the last couple of years, certainly Manchester City have the most depth and a high quality of players in their under-23s.

‘What you also have to remember is Chelsea loan so many of their young players out, so do Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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