Gabriel Agbonlahor has heaped praise on young Aston Villa defender Dominic Revan after his dominant first-team debut against Liverpool on Friday evening.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Villa’s record Premier League goalscorer suggested the 20-year-old could replace Bjorn Engels as Dean Smith’s fourth-choice centre-back because of his pace.
Revan captained a team made up of Villa’s Under-23s and Under-18s against the Premier League champions after the whole of the first-team squad were forced into self-isolation.
The Englishman led a valiant side by example but a near full-strength Liverpool team eventually ran out 4-1 winners.
According to sofascore, Revan won 70 per cent of his duels, made 14 clearances and blocked three shots.
Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa have established themselves as Smith’s first-choice centre-back pairing with Kortney Hause as the third choice.
Bjorn Engels, 26, has yet to feature in the Premier League this season and was linked with a move back to his native Belgium earlier this month.
“For me, the captain stood out, Revan,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider. “He was strong and stood up to the plate.”
Asked whether his emergence could make it more likely for Smith to look to offload Engels, he said: “Yes. It’s getting harder for Engels to play games. Mings and Konsa are very rarely injured and very rarely miss games and you’ve got Hause who can come in too.
“It will be difficult for Engels to get game time and you’d imagine he’d want to be playing.
“With Dominic Revan, he put in a good performance and you do need that pace.
“If you want to get to where Aston Villa are looking to get too your centre-backs have got to have the pace. Aston Villa play great attacking football so you’re going to get counter-attacked a lot.
“The centre-backs they’ve got at the moment have all got great pace.”