Dan Bardell: Aaron Ramsey 'not far off' joining brother Jacob in first-team at Aston Villa
Aston Villa academy star Aaron Ramsey continued his fine start to life on loan at Middlesbrough by netting his third goal in two appearances – further highlighting his ability to join brother Jacob Ramsey in the first team.
The 20-year-old joined fellow Aston Villa loanee Cameron Archer on the scoresheet for Middlesbrough on Saturday (11 March) as Michael Carrick’s side ran away 3-1 victors over Swansea in the Championship.
Ramsey’s 54th-minute goal was a crucial moment of the match after Boro had fallen a goal down early on in proceedings. Chopping back onto his right foot inside the box and then benefitting from a slight deflection off a defender, he calmly slotted home to continue his fine goalscoring form on Teeside.
Over the course of his loan spell at Norwich City in the first half of the season and his successful stint at the Riverside Stadium, Ramsey has managed to score six goals and provide three assists.
It now seems only a matter of when, not if, the England youth international breaks into Unai Emery’s first team and takes to the Villa Park pitch beside his older brother Jacob.
He said: “Well, I always think he has been the higher-rated of the two brothers, Aaron that is, and he was always foreseen to have the bigger future.
“I think if you look at what he is doing at England youth level as well, Aaron Ramsey was more involved in that at a younger age than Jacob, who has played recently in the England Under-21s.
“Jacob’s progress has probably been quicker than the club would have expected, but I really don’t think Aaron is too far away from reaching his brother’s level because if you’re performing well in the upper echelons of the Championship, the step-up to a top-ten team in the Premier League like Villa shouldn’t be massive.
“I think this loan will do him good. It’s the highest level of loan he’s had so far in his career, he’s playing in a functioning team as well under Michael Carrick, and I do think he has a future at Villa Park.
“He has always been highly rated by the Villa hierarchy and the people working at the club, so if Emery takes a look at him in pre-season and likes him, he could well feature for the club next season.”
Ramsey is now one of many loanees, including Archer, Tim Iroegbunam and Finn Azaz, who will be vying for a spot in Emery’s plans for next season.
Competition for places in the first-team is likely to be fierce, with a summer rebuild expected, but Ramsey has shown he is a match-winner as well as having a natural eye for goal.
If the quality that Jacob has reached at Villa Park is anything to go by, the club have yet another youngster who can blossom in the West Midlands in Aaron.
Supporters will be hoping to see both Ramsey brothers donning the claret and blue top sometime in the near future, and it could well happen next season if Aaron continues along his sky-high trajectory.
In other Aston Villa news, the future of this loanee hangs in the balance as contract talks await.