Kevin Phillips is excited by Aston Villa prospect Carney Chukwuemeka but is unsure whether he is ready for a loan move.

The former Claret and Blue, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, compared the 17-year-old to Wayne Rooney and Jude Bellingham when discussing a potential loan move for the midfielder in 2021.

Chukwuemeka penned a professional contract at Villa Park in October despite interest from Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein revealed earlier this week that the midfielder, who Villa chief executive Christian Purslow described as “the best 16-year-old in England”, would not be leaving the club on loan next month.

Phillips claimed a loan move would benefit the youngster if he is fully physically developed.

“It is a really tough one,” he told Football Insider.

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“I like to see young players go out on loan but at 17 you are still learning your trade.

“I know Jude Bellingham has handled it really well at Birmingham but it really depends on the mentality of the player.

“Has he fully developed yet? Does he have the physicality?

“If you are shining for the 23s every week though you need a loan move to get better. That is the only way to get better.

“Dean Smith will ultimately make that call but if they feel he is ready for the Championship or even the Premier League, remember how well Wayne Rooney did at Everton, then a loan move may be right.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith

“You do not want to rush him or burn him out but a loan move could mean that in the summer you do not need to worry about signing a midfielder.

“It is exciting to hear about him and it would be great to watch his development if he went out on loan.” 

In other Aston Villa news, Darren Bent buzzing over ‘Absolutely Superb’ reveal.