By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

10th May, 2023 | 7:19pm

Louie Barry 'complete opposite' to £100m Declan Rice as Aston Villa future predicted by Dan Bardell

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports and The Athletic’s Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

Dan Bardell believes Louie Barry has a tough road back to the Aston Villa first-team after the club’s recent resurgence under Unai Emery.

Barry, 19, began his career at West Brom, where he spent 10 years before he became the first Englishman in history to join Barcelona’s famous La Maria academy.

After his short-lived stint in Spain, the striker returned to Aston Villa to don the colours he’d grown up supporting.

However, after a brief spell with the Villa academy at Bodymoor Heath, Barry has been sent on four separate loans within the English football league, all of which have failed to reap any significant goalscoring outlay.

The former English Under-18 international sealed a loan move to Salford City most recently in the January transfer window, where he has scored two goals in 19 appearances.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell highlighted how different players develop at different stages of their career, with Declan Rice released by Chelsea’s youth set-up at the age of 14 and Barry joining Barcelona at just 16 years old.

“Barry is a funny one because he has been at Barcelona, so quite obviously has something, he must be a top, top footballer because you don’t get plucked from West Brom to Barcelona unless you have some talent,” said Bardell.

“There is something in there, but people develop at different speeds and quite often, the ones who are seen as the real deal are actually the ones who struggle and don’t make it at clubs.

“Quite often, these players who are seen to be the real, real special ones are actually not the ones who come through.

“He is the complete opposite, for example, to Declan Rice and Chelsea, where they let him go when he was 14 and now they would have to pay over £100million to get him in their team.

“It’s a difficult one with Villa because if he wasn’t going to be good enough for Villa when they were mid-table and not doing that great, is he going to be good enough for an Emery side who are now knocking on the door of the top-six?

“He isn’t going to go from a League Two loan to playing for Villa next season, and he will be 21 by the end of next season without ever really playing for the first team.

“It’s going to be a tough road for Louie Barry, it really is.”

“He’s a talented boy, but Villa are making bigger strides now and it will be harder for a lot of the younger players to come through the ranks.”

In other Aston Villa news, the Villans have been backed to complete one major deal in the summer after an update from Fabrizio Romano.