Although fans knew Aston Villa’s pre-season campaign would have a more youthful feel to it given extended breaks for our international players, the regular appearance of Lamare Bogarde in the heart of defence was quite a surprise for many.
With massive strides being made by our Academy setup under Mark Harrison, Bogarde signed his first professional deal with us officially back in January of this year and with very high hopes for his ability given he joined us from Feyenoord’s Academy setup, the Dutch youth international’s versatility (defence & midfield) was also a pull.
It was a quiet first pro season as he settled in and began impressing, but he certainly impressed and helped our Under 18 side to their FA Youth Cup success and following his pre-season involvement, this season he has already been part of the squad that took our first victory (Wycombe) in the EFL Trophy in six attempts and he made our EFL Cup squads for Barrow and Chelsea.
The talented 17-year-old clearly has a future ahead of him if he keeps his head down and works hard, and according to The Athletic’s Gregg Evans the club see huge potential in the years ahead – especially in light of his progress already, despite his tender age.
One year on and the 17-year-old is flying.https://t.co/dJkQ7Qjz4R
— Gregg Evans (@greggevans40) September 21, 2021
Adding to that in his recent article for the outlet, Evans explained how quickly the young lad is already moving through our levels.
“Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa have both taken the hard-working teenager under their wing. They immediately warmed to the bright, polite youngster and recognise his potential. The youngster is calm and composed in possession and likes to play out from the back. That he’s a regular for the under-23s and was given the captain’s armband last time out also says a lot about his transformation at Villa over the past two years. Still so young but gradually developing into the player Villa hoped they were getting when they went above and beyond to convince him that claret and blue was the future, Bogarde is maturing quicker than expected.”
Whilst there are first team issues still to sort, few can’t be satisfied with our improvement over the last few seasons since NSWE arrived and one of the big plusses is the youth setup we now have as it’s already showing great promise when you look at the likes of Cameron Archer, The Chuky brothers, the Ramsey’s and Jaden Philogene-Bidace.
It’s been a while since we had such a crop of numbers come through and for all intents and purposes, we have another crop following very closely behind them as well.