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Why Aston Villa should go ahead with a move for Louie Barry

Aston Villa are in talks with Barcelona over a proposed deal for teenage striker Louie Barry (h/t Daily Mail).

The 16-year old England youth international only moved to Spain from West Bromwich Albion in July and Barcelona still need to pay the £130,000 due in compensation to the Hawthorns club (h/t Daily Mail).

The striker turned down PSG to sign for the La Liga champions during the summer. He has played three times in the UEFA Youth League for Barcelona, netting in a 3-2 defeat against Slavia Prague. Barry netted a goal on his debut for the Under-19s as well.

The teenager would be a decent addition to the Villa youth ranks. The senior side is short of strikers right now but the 16-year-old would be better off joining their development squad initially, rather than as a first-team option.

The youngster is no stranger to Villa’s Academy manager Mark Harrison, who was his boss at West Brom, his former employer.

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Louie Barry (Image credit: Getty)

Barca beat off competition from Europe’s biggest clubs to capture Barry last summer. However, Barry’s time in Spain has featured more downs than ups. He excelled in the preseason for the club’s U19 team as part of an attack that also featured Ansu Fati and Ilaix Moriba but was unable to make his competitive debut until October due to a delay in processing his registration with FIFA.

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Barry scored on his full debut and added another goal off the bench in a league game in December but has found minutes hard to come by. He has not completed a full 90 minutes yet. Coach Franc Artiga, who replaced Victor Valdes on the bench before Barry was eligible to make his debut, has preferred to use the older players in the squad. Barry, who will not turn 17 until the end of June, is the youngest player in the U19s.

Verdict

Signing Barry from Barcelona would be a tidy little addition for Aston Villa and Dean Smith. He wouldn’t go straight into the first-team but several players have risen through the youth academy in recent years. Jack Grealish has gone on to become one of the best midfielders in the league and Barry would be hoping to follow his footsteps.

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