By Jonty Banks

28th May, 2023 | 5:20pm

Jacob Ramsey runs riot for Aston Villa in 'absolutely magnificent' first-half performance v Brighton

Jacob Ramsey was in irresistible form for Aston Villa in the first half of their Premier League showdown against Brighton at Villa Park after scooping up a well-deserved individual accolade earlier this week.

Ramsey, 22, was awarded the 2022/23 Premier League Academy Graduate of the Year award on Monday (22 May), following in the footsteps of the likes of Bukayo Saka, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Marcus Rashford.

And the Englishman justified this decision with an inch-perfect showing against the Seagulls in Villa’s most important game of the season.

Starting the game in his favoured left-hand side midfield role, Ramsey linked up with Lucas Digne on numerous occasions and ended up bagging two assists for his efforts.

After just 10 minutes, Ramsey was the orchestrator of Villa’s opening goal, receiving a ball on the left flank, drawing his defender in, lifting up his head and playing a brilliant ball for an un-marked Douglas Luiz to slot home.

Speaking live on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday (28 May), Michael Dawson waxed lyrical about the “absolutely magnificent” piece of play by the England Under-21 captain, and it is hard to disagree with this verdict.

Just 18 minutes later, Ramsey doubled up on his goal contributions tally for the afternoon, showing drive and desire to beat Jason Steele to the ball and square for Ollie Watkins to poke into an empty net.

Over the opening 45 minutes in front of a fervent Villa Park crows, the midfielder delivered three key passes and also carved open two big chances. [SofaScore] He also completed 91% of his passes (10/11) and found a teammate with 50% of his crosses.

The academy graduate’s greatest strength has long been his ability to glide past defenders with the football at his feet, and once again, Brighton found it extremely tough to deal with his pace and power, completing 100% of his dribbles (3/3).

Even in defence, Ramsey was immense, winning four out of six ground duels and chipping in with a single crucial tackle as Villa went into the break ahead.

Throughout the first half, he was positive and intelligent, but most importantly had the quality to match.

On his 22nd birthday, Ramsey delivered a 45-minute midfield masterclass of a player beyond his age.

In other Aston Villa news, one academy graduate has picked up an injury which could derail his pre-season plans.