Aston Villa news: Academy star has "come from nowhere" to solve key Dean Smith problem

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Cameron Archer has made a rapid rise into Aston Villa's first-team - but journalist Ashley Preece said that the striker wasn't even on the club's radar before this season.

The 19-year-old, who spent last term on loan in the National League with Solihull Moors, is enjoying an impressive first campaign in the senior year and is Villa's top goalscorer across all competitions.

How has Archer performed this season?

Prior to this season, Archer's only appearance for Villa came as a late substitute in a Carabao Cup tie against Crewe some two years ago.

But the youngster is now firmly part of Dean Smith's set-up and he's already shown his goalscoring capabilities. Archer scored a hat-trick in the Carabao Cup against Barrow before netting the equaliser against Chelsea in the next round.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

Archer hasn't yet been able to get off the mark in his two brief Premier League outings, but he's scored four times in the EFL Trophy for Villa U23s against two League One sides in Wycombe and Burton, which would have provided further experience in men's football for the teenager.

Elsewhere, Archer has scored in both his Premier League 2 outings this term, meaning he's already on 10 goals and three assists in just eight appearances overall.

Villa have several promising youngsters in their ranks, epitomised by their FA Youth Cup success last campaign, but Archer didn't play a second in their triumph and Preece said that he wasn't even being spoken about as a potential breakthrough.

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What did Preece say?

He told GIVEMESPORT: "He's come from nowhere. I think Shakespeare said those exact words. We had the U18 FA Youth Cup winners and Louie Barry, Brad Young and players like that who people were getting excited about. Cameron Archer wasn't even on the radar."

What role can Archer play for Villa?

It's still early to predict exactly how far Archer can go, but for now, he's acting as an adequate back-up for both Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins and is likely to get more minutes if he continues in his current vain.

Last season, with Wesley injured and Keinan Davis hardly involved, Watkins was Villa's only recognised striker and therefore forced to play in all but three of their competitive games across all competitions.

This time around, though, Archer has already shown that he's good enough to step in and give those two a rest, which should help keep Ings and Watkins fresh for when they play in the Premier League.

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