Unai Emery holds immediate future of Cameron Archer in his hands at Aston Villa
Aston Villa sensation Cameron Archer tasted the priceless experience of winning a trophy at international level which could certainly translate well into his career at Villa Park, but that decision remains in Emery’s hands.
England won the European Under-21 Championship for the first time in nearly 40 years after a dramatic last-minute penalty save by James Trafford ensured the Young Lions held on to beat Spain in an historic triumph.
The win meant Lee Carsley’s talented side are the third England team to win the competition after previously picking up the trophy in 1982 and 1984, and Villa’s young hitman certainly played his part despite filling in from the bench throughout the tournament, scoring two goals from his five appearances.
Such an experience can transcend a player into new and lofty heights personally, and in Archer, Aston Villa now possesses a player in their ranks who has the experience of winning such a prestigious trophy, which Emery will be fighting tooth and nail for both domestically and on the European front next season.
However, the Spaniard, given his depleted attacking weaponry, and no further news on whether Aston Villa will be able to sign an alternative to Ollie Watkins in attack next season, holds a superb solution right under his nose should he fail to secure a striker target this summer.
The academy graduate, who spent the second half of last season out on loan at Middlesbrough, has established himself as one of the most prolific young strikers in the country but still struggled to assert himself as a first-team option at Villa Park.
During his six-month spell under Michael Carrick, the 21-year-old bagged 11 goals and six assists from 20 outings.
As per Aston Villa Statto, the striker now boasts six goals for England Under-21s after bagging twice during the tournament, and is averaging a superb goals-per-minute ratio for his country, showcasing his upward trajectory right now and the levels at which he is scoring goals.
If Aston Villa are to challenge on all fronts next season, goals will need to be scored at a premium rate and Archer can certainly provide that given his sensational learning curve over the past season.
However, that decision will be left in Emery’s hands over the summer. Does the Spaniard believe Archer is ready for a Premier League and European experience at club level? After what he experienced on international duty, fans may argue he is ready and will be desperate to see him finally pull on a Villa shirt and impress.
Or will Emery decide to loan him out again in order to get more game time under his belt? Considering he only joined Middlesborough for half a season last year? Does the 21-year-old need a full campaign at a Championship club to develop even further? How about a low-level Premier League club?
These are certainly the questions Emery will be asking himself as he analyses and looks over Archer’s development over the cause of pre-season.
With Ollie Watkins currently leading the Aston Villa line, the 21-year-old sensation has had to be patient for first-team opportunities, and he has already proven he has what it takes to shine at the club.
However, as said previously, the future decision rests in Emery’s hands. Regardless of what the Spaniard decides though, the Bodymoor Heath academy graduate will be desperate to prove he has the right to be a part of Aston Villa’s new and improved revolution.
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