By Noel Whelan

9th Oct, 2021 | 12:00pm

Smith Rowe cited as Aston Villa plot 'brilliant' raid to sign Scottish-born goal machine - pundit

Noel Whelan has claimed it would be “brilliant” if Aston Villa sign Stoke City defender Harry Souttar.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker urged more Premier League clubs to raid the lower leagues for promising homegrown talent.

As revealed by Football Insider (7th October), Aston Villa are among the chasing pack in the hunt to sign Stoke colossus Souttar.

The 22-year-old, 6ft 6in (Transfermarkt) centre-back is expected to be in high demand after his impressive start to the season.

The Australia international has helped Stoke avoid defeat in all but two of their opening 11 league games this term.

Whelan claims clubs should give young, homegrown players like Souttar more of a chance.

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As such, he revealed his delight to hear of Villa’s interest in the Stoke star.

Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “There seems to be a kind of trend at the moment for certain clubs to get a few more British-based players into the Premier League.

“In my opinion, it is absolutely brilliant. It’s only going to work well for the national sides as well that these young boys are getting the chance from the academies.

“Look at Arsenal. Smith Rowe looks like he is going to be an absolutely fantastic player. He can be their leader, along with Saka, for years and years to come. That is if they can hold on to them.

“It’s great that Villa are not just looking overseas. There are players on your doorstep that could make that step forward and be very successful for Premier League clubs.”

Villa signed the likes of Ollie Watkins and Matty Cash from Championship sides last summer.

Souttar has a remarkable record of scoring six goals in five international appearances for Australia.

In other news, two “excellent” Aston Villa players may be fuming with teammates after latest.