By Anthony Onifade

4th Jul, 2023 | 10:10am

Unai Emery dealt severe blow to pre-season preparations at Aston Villa as Jacob Ramsey news emerges

Aston Villa midfielder Jacob Ramsey looks set to miss the remainder of the England Under-21s quest for European Championship glory, potentially handing Unai Emery a crushing blow to his pre-season preparations.

The 22-year-old has proven a standout performer during England’s march to Wednesday’s semi-final against Israel, playing in all four games so far, registering one goal and an assist.

However, the Villa Park maestro hobbled out of Sunday night’s 1-0 victory over Portugal with an ankle injury after a nasty tackle and left the stadium on crutches.

And according to the Daily Mail newspaper [4 July, page 59], Ramsey looks set to miss the rest of England’s push for European glory.

Manager Lee Carsley said that Ramsey had severe numbness in his foot and ankle, with England not looking to provide him with injections for fear of exacerbating a problem.

And such news won’t go down well at Aston Villa with boss Emery hell-bent on ensuring his team is well-prepared for their Premier League season-opener away to Newcastle United on 12 August.

Ramsey, since Emery’s appointment at Villa Park in November, had become the shining light of the Spaniard’s revolution proving throughout the campaign that he is indeed arguably the Premier League’s most exciting young midfield talent.

The 22-year-old was rightly awarded the 2022/23 Premier League Academy Graduate of the Year award (22 May), following in the footsteps of the likes of Bukayo Saka, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Marcus Rashford, showcasing why he is the cream of a very exciting crop of Premier League talent that has emerged on the scene over the past year.

And if any neutral wants to doubt Ramsey’s talents, they’d only need to look at his underlying numbers.

According to the Opta-powered stats on FBREF, Ramsey looks to be one of the most-rounded midfielders in the Premier League, sitting in the top 20% of his counterparts for goals (0.21 per 90) and assists (0.18 per 90) as well as non-penalty goals.

It’s now season on season, and the 22-year-old seems to be improving his goal output and last season was his best yet, with Emery providing him with new responsibilities within his tactical framework that saw him provided with the freedom and grace to roam within the attacking third and wreak havoc.

England Under-21 manager Carsley has also utilised him in the same manner during the European Championships for which Ramsey has again shown why he is amongst the best of a talented crop.

But this injury news comes as a serious blow to Emery, and it may now force the Spaniard to alter his tactical thinking as his side gears up for pre-season. What does it also mean for Ramsey who will be looking to take that next step in his burgeoning Aston Villa career next season?

The whole club and fans will be hoping this new injury blow won’t derail the player’s upward trajectory and progress as Emery will have certainly had plans to bolster his usefulness in his squad during pre-season.

His wonderful goal-contribution skills, and unique midfield talents mixed with the tactical class and experience of Emery have given Ramsey all the tools he needs to take the next step in his career, but that plan now seems to have been derailed after this latest development.

The Villans will now look to hand the 22-year-old with all the rest and recuperation he needs to hit the top level in his game again, and Emery will be hoping his midfield gem is fully ready to take on Newcastle when the new season kicks off.

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