By Matt Farr
Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce believes the club is getting out-muscled in the transfer market – losing too many of its promising youngsters and failing to attract others.
Speaking to the Daily Star, Bruce voiced his frustration at the number of promising academy products that have slipped away in previous years – like Gary Cahill.
Cahill, 31, quit Aston Villa nine years ago after being deemed surplus to requirements by then-manager Martin O’Neill.
However, the defender has since become a big hit in both the Premier League and on the international stage, and is expected to wear the captain’s armband as England take on Germany in a friendly on Wednesday night.
Bruce believes Aston Villa must do more in the future to ensure they can hang on to their most prized young assets.
He told the Star: “We’ve produced some very good players here – and one in particular is the captain of Chelsea.
“This club has always prided itself on the academy but over the last few years we have lost some good players.
“This is a big city and many have muscled in. We will have to do everything can to wrestle the young players in this city to our club.”
Bruce will be particularly keen to ensure that current young Aston Villa stars Andre Green, Jack Grealish and Keinan Davis do not follow the same path as Cahill and quit before they can blossom into key players.
Green and Grealish, in particular, have already established themselves in Bruce’s first-team squad, but they still have a lot to prove before they can earn key player status.
However, Aston Villa fans should be encouraged that Bruce is looking to nurture more homegrown talent for the future.
In other Aston Villa news, Mile Jedinak has revealed he has held talks with Bruce over a new role at the club.