Aston Villa: Gerrard 'desperate' to have 'unreal' star at Villa Park next season

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard looking into the distance

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard will be desperate to keep highly-rated youngster Carney Chukwuemeka, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The 19-year-old enjoyed his breakthrough season at Villa Park in 2021-2022, which has attracted the attention of some of Europe’s top clubs.

What’s the latest news involving Chukwuemeka?

According to reports in Germany, the attacker was set to join Jude Bellingham at Borussia Dortmund, but SPORT 1 reporter Patrick Berger denied those claims and said the teenager will not be making the switch to Germany, with no agreement made between the clubs.

GiveMeSport Transfer Verdict
GiveMeSport Transfer Verdict

But with less than 12 months remaining on Chukwuemeka’s Villa contract, his long-term future is far from secured.

He was on course to commit his future to the Midlands outfit back in October, but Birmingham Live believe that he wants assurances over his game-time before putting pen to paper.

Chukwuemeka, described as ‘unreal‘ by The Athletic’s Gregg Evans, featured 14 times for Villa’s first-team last season, although he started just twice in the Premier League and spent much of the second half of the campaign watching on from the bench.

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According to SPORT, Barcelona and Arsenal are both interested in signing Chukwuemeka, who’s been increasing his stock even further at the European Under-19 Championships for England.

What did O’Rourke say about Chukwuemeka?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “It’s been a priority for Villa for a while now to sort out his long-term future. He has been linked with a move for the last couple of transfer windows.

“He’s obviously highly-rated, and they have high hopes for him, so Gerrard will be desperate to keep him in the long-term to see how he can fit into the Aston Villa team.”

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Why hasn’t Chukwuemeka been given more chances?

Villa have invested millions into some of their wide players in recent years, spending more than £60m combined on Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey, with those two far more experienced than Chukwuemeka, so it makes perfect sense for Gerrard to be putting more faith into the duo.

Gerrard also has the likes of Ollie Watkins, Philippe Coutinho and Danny Ings at his disposal, so it’s very difficult to find a role in the side for Chukwuemeka.

The Villa boss might also be sceptical over playing the teenager before he’s committed his future to the club, but he did give him regular minutes towards the end of the season, so if the youngster gets his head down in pre-season and continues catching the eye, he surely won’t keep being ignored.

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