Unai Emery could be set for a crucial decision on Louie Barry development at Aston Villa after news emerges
Aston Villa wonderkid Louie Barry has enjoyed an exceptional start to the campaign at Stockport County so far, but it seems as though Unai Emery could be set to make a crucial decision on his development.
The 20-year-old has netted for the League Two outfit in seven consecutive games, so far registering an impressive seven goals and two assists from 12 starts already after joining on loan in the summer.
TEAMTalk reported on 23 September, that Emery and Villa are having “serious thoughts” about recalling Barry from his loan in Greater Manchester to test him at a higher level but it’s one that must be taken with serious consideration.
Since joining the Villans from Barcelona in 2021, Sutton Coldfield- borm Barry has had a number of unsuccessful loan spells away from B6 but he seems to have finally found his stride at Edgeley Park with the Hatters.
The Englishman struggled to impact proceedings during temporary stints at Ipswich, Swindon and MK Dons – netting just seven goals in total for the three clubs – but successful loan spells at Salford City last season and Stockport County have certainly made bosses at Villa Park take notice.
The Bodymoor Heath wonder even signed a contract extension upon his loan move during the summer which seems to point to him having a future in the Villa Park first team in the near future.
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Before that happens though, Barry will need to continue flourishing with first-team exposure and he’s certainly getting that chance in League Two.
So far this campaign, as per Sofa Score, he’s averaging 1.2 key passes per game, registered four big chances created, averaging 2.4 shots per game and also completed 55% of his dribbles so far showing how much of an influence he’s having in the final third for the Hatters.
In fact, seven goals and two assists from 12 starts should certainly tell it’s own story but more crucially, it certainly points to Barry potentially going on loan at a much higher level in the near future with a potential Championship move perfect for his rapid development.
Former Aston Villa man Alan Hutton, speaking exclusively to Villa News (8 October) believes the 20-year-old could be sent out on loan at a higher level in the January transfer window but admits it will be very difficult to break into Emery’s first team thinking.
“They could possibly bring him back and send him to a higher league, maybe the Championship or League One. He’s scoring goals in League Two but I don’t think he comes into this Aston Villa first-team squad,” Hutton said.
“If anything, I think he could be playing for his future elsewhere if I’m totally honest.
“Barry is a guy who came into the club when I was there and the potential and the noise that surrounded him was incredible. You thought he was going to break into the first team and be the next big thing along the likes of Jack Grealish but it’s not quite worked out for whatever reason.
“At this moment in time, it’s more important that he stays out on loan, works hard for the team he’s with and see where it takes him. It’ll be very difficult to break into this Aston Villa squad.”
Indeed, it will be incredibly difficult given the star-studded nature of the Aston Villa squad right now under the Spaniard, it’s even more difficult than when the likes of Grealish and Jacob Ramsey first burst onto the scene.
However, Villa are a side built on their academy prowess and it’s a trend Emery must look to continue at Villa Park to enhance sustainability and recruitment in West Midlands, and there’s no better player to give such exposure to than Barry who is wreaking havoc out on loan.
There’s got to be hope that Barry won’t be sold like Cameron Archer, Aaron Ramsey and Jaden Philogene.
It remains to be seen whether Emery could look to make the critical call to give him a Championship loan in January but that pathway will almost certainly present itself down the line should he remain at Stockport beyond the winter.
Regardless, all roads are pointing towards Barry having the same breakthrough as Ramsey at Villa Park and while that remains a long way away, it’s an exciting journey for all parties involved.