By Jonty Banks

26th Apr, 2023 | 2:10pm

Rory Wilson proving himself the brightest talent to play for Aston Villa academy since Jack Grealish

Rory Wilson netted his third hat-trick of the season on Tuesday (25 April) and gave further credence to the theory that he is the brightest prospect to play for the Aston Villa academy since Jack Grealish.

The 17-year-old netted, who moved to Villa Park last summer from Rangers for a modest fee of £250,000, has hit the ground running in the West Midlands, scoring 12 goals from 19 games. [Transfermarkt]

Three of those strikes were during Aston Villa’s Premier League Under-18 clash against Leicester City, in which the Young Lions came out 4-2 victors.

After bagging 49 goals at youth level with Rangers last season, Wilson has carried on in a similar vein this term, with the hattrick against the Foxes his third for both club and country combined.

The teenage sensation had previously taken home the match ball for Scotland’s Under-17s in their 7-0 victory over Switzerland in February as well as sealing a stunning hattrick with an audacious chip against Brentford in the FA Youth Cup.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News in March, Sky Sports and The Athletic’s Dan Bardell waxed lyrical about the academy striker.

He said: “Wilson looks really exciting, he scores some wonderful goals, some really lovely finishes and it looks like he has a few different types of finish in his locker as well. 

“He was highly rated at Rangers, and Villa have done well to sign him up. I feel like Gerrard might have had an influence on that transfer at the time because he would have known him well while working at Rangers.

“I feel like he’s certainly someone to get excited about because he is so highly rated and he just looks like a pure goalscorer.”

Although the likes of Cameron Archer, Aaron Ramsey and Tim Iroegbunam have emerged from the Bodymoor Heath set-up over the last couple of years, few of these players carry the hype that surrounds Wilson.

Grealish’s shoes are certainly big ones to fill in terms of players graduating into the first-team from the academy, but Wilson is doing a pretty good job of it so far.

The former Rangers academy prospect looks like the real deal, and although he is still only 17 years old, the teenager looks destined to become a successful Premier League footballer.

In other Aston Villa news, Christian Purslow is keeping his promise to the squad after a player arrived at Bodymoor Heath ahead of a potential transfer.