A short time ago this afternoon, Aston Villa confirmed the arrival of highly-rated Exeter City prospect Ben Chrisene – beating off competition from Fulham, Liverpool and Chelsea in the process.
The 16-year-old midfielder made five substitute appearances for Exeter in the 2019/20 campaign, making his league debut against Cambridge United and he’s been capped by England at Under 15 and 16 levels. He was also Exeter’s youngest ever player at 15 years, seven months and one day old when he came off the bench in their EFL Cup defeat to Coventry City in August 2019 – beating Ethan Ampadu’s previous record.
He comes in for an undisclosed fee and goes straight into our Academy setup.
Few will know anything about the lad, but Exeter have a reputation for developing talent in the last few years so there should be some excitement about his capture even if we won’t see much benefit for a couple of more years.
President and director of football and external affairs, Julian Tagg, certainly spoke highly about Chrisene and our approach to getting the deal done.
“While the fee is undisclosed, when a possible arbitration fee is considered we are pleased with the valuation. Aston Villa have been very professional and fair in their dealings with Exeter City and we as a club would like to acknowledge that. We must, of course, thank our coaching staff, in the academy and the first team environment, for their continued excellent work in producing players of such high quality, but also recognise the hard work and dedication both Ben and his family have shown whilst he has been part of academy and first team set-up. Ben is a talented footballer, but also one who works hard and is dedicated to learning and improving. Therefore, he deserves all the success he gets, and we wish him well at Aston Villa and hope he goes onto have a long and successful career at the top of the game.”
Academy manager Mark Harrison was equally delighted with the deal.
“We are delighted to have secured Ben’s signature. He’s a very talented youngster who we are very pleased to have at the club. I would like to thank the owners, the Board and the CEO for their support in bringing talent like Ben’s to Aston Villa and for their ongoing backing in helping us to work towards our shared vision of a thriving and successful academy.”
Welcome to the club Ben!