Aston Villa latest news: Dean Smith expected to make key starting XI change on Sunday

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith

Jacob Ramsey is set to be recalled to Aston Villa’s starting line-up when they take on West Ham United this weekend, according to Express & Star journalist Luke Hatfield.

The midfielder came off the bench and scored his first goal for the club in the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal last week.

What’s the latest news involving Ramsey?

Ramsey spoke of his delight after breaking his goalscoring duck when his long range strike found the top corner of the net at the Emirates Stadium.

Villa boss Dean Smith described his side’s first half performance as “unacceptable”, with Arsenal condemning them to a third defeat on the spin.

It was the second fixture in succession where 20-year-old Ramsey has been made to settle for a cameo role from the bench, having started the previous three matches on the bounce.

But, with Smith being displeased by Villa’s showing last time out, Ramsey could be set to be drafted into the starting line-up for the 31st top flight appearance of his career.

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While Villa have suffered three consecutive losses, West Ham will make the trip to Villa Park having gone into the weekend sitting in the Premier League’s top four.

What has Luke Hatfield said about Ramsey?

Hatfield believes it will be difficult not to reward Ramsey for his performance against Arsenal by handing the academy product a start against West Ham.

The journalist feels Ramsey’s energy levels could be crucial if Villa want to win the midfield battle against the Hammers on Sunday.

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Hatfield told GIVEMESPORT: “In terms of whether he has to come in or not, it’s hard to argue to leave him out because they looked a better side with him in it last Friday and they have done previously.

“Jacob Ramsey offers that young energy and box-to-box style.

“Obviously, he has had a couple of chances where he’s failed to score but now he’s finally got on the scoresheet, so it would be hard to leave him out.”

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Why is Ramsey rated so highly at Villa Park?

Ramsey now finds himself firmly in the first-team picture having progressed through Villa’s youth system, with him making 65 appearances for the club’s under-18 and under-23 sides.

Smith has rated the central midfielder highly for some time and described Ramsey as “one for the future” following his full Premier League debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers last December.

It is not just at club level where Ramsey is highly thought of as he has been capped at England under-18, under-19 and under-20s level before making his under-21s debut earlier this month.

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