By Peter Lynch

14th Oct, 2023 | 10:10am

Unai Emery has new Jamie Vardy sat under his nose at Aston Villa as Louie Barry continues to shine

Aston Villa star Ollie Watkins doesn’t look like losing his starting role under Unai Emery anytime soon, but that shouldn’t stop others from trying to topple the striker.

He has banged in seven goals in all competitions this season, with the player’s form earning him a deserved England call-up for the latest international break.

Colombia international and teenage sensation Jhon Duran is seemingly next in line up top, with the 19-year-old often filling in for Watkins due to the club’s busy fixture list.

But there is another youngster waiting in the wings who is more than capable of making the step up to the first team in the form of Louie Barry.

The 20-year-old is currently on a season-long loan at League Two club Stockport County, with the attacker joining Watkins on seven goals for the season.

Those goals have arrived in just 12 league appearances, with Barry saving his best for September, scoring in all five of Stockport’s matches.

The forward also registered three assists, with that form unsurprisingly earning him the EFL Young Player of the Month award for September, as per the official Stockport website (13 October).

It was a stunning month for the Aston Villa loanee, with plenty of competition for the prize given that it covers the Championship, League One and League Two.

Barry has already garnered plenty of plaudits in his brief career so far, not least from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who labelled the forward “Little Jamie Vardy” when he scored against on his senior debut in an FA Cup clash with the Reds in January 2021 [Mirror, 13 October].

It is no mean feat to be compared to a striker with such a fantastic Premier League record, while the fact that it came from an esteemed manager like Klopp also speaks volumes.

Emery will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on the youngster as the months go on, with Barry also recently setting a post-war Stockport record after scoring in seven consecutive League Two games.

In other Aston Villa news, one four key pass player was the only standout in the recent Premier League draw with Wolves.