'Best in England' - Exclusive: Whelan reacts to Ornstein's big Villa January transfer reveal
Noel Whelan insists it is “too soon” for Aston Villa to send highly-rated youngster Carney Chukwuemeka out on loan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Leeds and Coventry striker urged the club to look at Liverpool’s handling of Harvey Elliott when deciding on the future of the 17-year-old.
The Athletic‘s David Ornstein revealed on Monday that the teenager will not be leaving the club on loan this January and will instead continue his development at Bodymoor Heath.
Earlier this year, Villa chief executive Christian Purslow described the midfielder as “the best 16-year-old in England”.
Chukwuemeka penned a professional contract at Villa Park in October despite interest from Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham.
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When asked by Football Insider for his thoughts on the England Under-12 international’s development, Whelan said:
“A loan move could be beneficial but this is a really hard decision to make.
“He is a teenager and you have got to nurture and manage him correctly. It is not like a 19, 20, 21-year-old. You really have to be around them.
“Right now, I think Chukwuemeka needs to be monitored and watched by Villa. He can be introduced to first team training and then at some point I am sure there will be opportunities in cup games for him but I think it is too soon to be sending him out on loan.
“There is still a lot that Aston Villa need to do with him. When you have good players like that there is a process. That process right now is staying at Villa, being watched and coached until the time is right.
“Harvey Elliott has done the same thing. He was not shoved out straight away by Liverpool. He was nurtured.”
In other Aston Villa news, Kevin Phillips tips record-breaking transfer next year after ‘crazy’ development.