Alan Hutton has claimed rivals will be growing jealous of the “magnificent” academy system at Aston Villa.
The former Villa ace, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted a productive youth system has become “massively important” to clubs in the modern game.
Villa beat Liverpool 2-1 on Monday to pick up the FA Youth Cup for the first time since 2002.
𝗧𝗛𝗜𝗦 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠. 💜
2020/21 FA Youth Cup 𝗪𝗜𝗡𝗡𝗘𝗥𝗦! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/trVGv3v5Wl
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) May 24, 2021
Goals from Ben Chrisene and Brad Young sealed victory for the young Villans.
Hutton heralded Villa for investing heavily in their academy system and suggested rivals would “strive” to reach the same level.
Asked how important Monday’s FA Youth Cup triumph was, Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “It’s massively important. I think everyone strives to have that academy at the level where you can bring players through.
“In the long run, it saves you a lot money. With Aston Villa, the way they’ve planned it and the outlay they’ve put out there to bring some of the best youngsters into the academy has been absolutely magnificent.
“We’re seeing it now rivals are jealous. We’re seeing boys actually come through and get a run into the first team. You can actually see a pathway for them now. Maybe in years gone by you’re thinking: ‘I will never break into the first team.’
“Now we’re seeing 17, 18-year-olds coming through and playing games under Dean Smith. So if you’re good enough, he will give you an opportunity. He has proved that to everybody.”
Carney Chukwuemeka, 17, started on Monday after making his first-team debut against Chelsea on Sunday.
Youth graduate Jacob Ramsey has also featured regularly for the senior side this season.
Six of the Aston Villa youngster’s made their first-team debut in the FA Cup against Liverpool earlier this term.