By Jonty Banks

30th Jun, 2023 | 12:10pm

Aston Villa gem Jacob Ramsey highlights progressive pass improvement with England at U21 Euros

Although Jacob Ramsey has enjoyed a rapid rise through the Aston Villa ranks over the last 18 months, small areas of his game remain open to improvement.

The 22-year-old enjoyed his best season to date in 2022/23, especially with the freedom offered by Unai Emery in a new-found position on the left side of midfield.

A return of six goals and seven assists from 35 appearances speaks volumes of the standout season he enjoyed as Villa qualified for Europe for the first time in over a decade.

And despite possessing an effortless dribbling ability, sitting in the 94th percentile for progressive carries last season, and having a distinct eye for goal, which left him in the top 16% of Premier League midfielders for non-penalty goals (0.20 per 90) last term, he has a couple of alarming weaknesses. [FBREF]

Although he recorded seven assists last season, the Englishman was in just the 11th percentile for passes into the final third last season (2.29 per 90) while recording an average of 90.99 yards of progressive passes per 90 minutes, which is in the bottom 4% of midfielders across Europe in the last year.

These weaknesses look like they have been highlighted by Emery over the latter stages of last season, with Ramsey since then taking up the role of architect-in-chief for the England Under-21s at the current European Championships.

For his countries opening goal of the tournament, Ramsey burst through the lines, playing a smart one-two with Anthony Gordon before opening up his body and slotting past the Czech Republic goalkeeper.

And against Germany on Wednesday (28 June) in the 2-0 win over Germany, the Villa academy graduate assisted his club teammate Cameron Archer with a pin-point through ball in behind the German defence.

Hopefully, Ramsey can continue to improve the weaknesses in his passing game throughout the latter stages of the European Championships for Lee Carsley’s side, with his average of 0.10 through balls per 90 minutes only likely to improve.

If the England youth international can iron out these little flaws in his game, Aston Villa could have the full package on their hands.

In other Aston Villa news, big-name signings are now on the cards after a behind-the-scenes arrival at Villa Park.