View: Joey Barton praise for Aston Villa loanee Lamare Bogarde shows sky-high potential
Joey Barton has waxed lyrical about Aston Villa loanee Lamare Bogarde after the defender impressed during his first start for Bristol Rovers.
The 19-year-old has starred for Villa’s academy since arriving from Feyenoord and was rewarded for his fine form with a deadline day January loan move to the League One outfit.
Since making the switch, Bogarde has made two substitute appearances, as well as his first start against Ipswich Town on Tuesday night (14 February), playing 76 minutes in a valiant 0-0 draw.
Speaking about the Villa academy product in his post-match press conference, Barton said: “He’s a good player, really good player. You never know until you throw them in.
“A first league game against the top-end of the division, and he didn’t look out of place. We were just concerned about his fitness levels, but he actually looked like he was relatively strong there, finishing.
“So really pleased with Lamare, I think he’s going to have a big future and it’s nice to have the opportunity to get him in our team and see what he can do. He’s got enormous potential.” [Bristol Live, 15 February]
Such a quickfire assessment of Bogarde isn’t a surprise after the form he showed for the Young Lions in the last 18 months – but his ability to settle into first-team surroundings with such ease will be music to the Villa hierarchy’s ears.
The Dutch player’s versatility is one of his great strengths, and after featuring mainly as a centre-back for Villa, he is now most likely being primed for a run as a defensive midfielder under Barton.
Despite eventually being sent on loan last month, Bogarde’s improvement hadn’t gone unnoticed at Villa Park, with the youngster penning a new long-term contract with the club last summer and making his senior debut against Liverpool in the FA Cup during the 2020-21 season.
Soon after putting pen to paper, Bogarde was taken on Steven Gerrard’s pre-season tour in Australia and made the former manager’s match-day squad three times before he was given the sack.
Unai Emery placed similar faith in the talented teenager by handing him a spot on the plane for the club’s warm-weather training camp in Dubai during the World Cup, with the youngster getting to ply his trade alongside the likes of Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa and Boubacar Kamara.
Hopefully, under a manager who trusts his ability and is willing to offer him regular game time, Bogarde can start to fulfil his sky-high potential.
In other Aston Villa news, the club face competition from Barcelona to secure the signing of a striker at the end of the season.