Former striker Frank McAvennie has told Aston Villa to offer one of their best youngsters a new deal as major clubs circle.
The West Midlands outfit have one of the most respected academies in England. It has produced former England international Gary Cahill, Premier League winner Marc Albrighton and current Man City star Jack Grealish.
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith is helping to introduce the next generation of first-team players. 20-year-old attacking midfielder Jacob Ramsey and English forward Keinan Davis have both emerged in recent seasons, among plenty of others.
He also scored in the recent third round defeat to Chelsea, during which Reece James notched the winning penalty after a 1-1 draw in normal time.
Villa have begun contract negotiations with Archer due to his impressive displays at senior level. They want to offer him a significant pay increase as a reward.
That might not be the only reason for their discussions, however.
Online outlet Football Insider write that a number of Premier League rivals and European clubs are interested in Archer’s signature.
Would it be wise to get rid of Dean Smith?
Aston Villa is reportedly giving Dean Smith the next three games to the international break to turn things around.
They are not named, but Villa are said to be ‘aware’ of the attention. McAvennie believes club chiefs need to act quickly so as not to lose Archer to a rival.
He said: “We have said this so many times. When you are a young player and you get given a chance, you have to take it.
“This boy has done that. Over the last months, Smith will have been speaking to him.
“Telling him the usual, if you work hard you will get rewarded and it sounds like he’s about to see those rewards.
“He’s a top talent and they won’t want to lose him to some of the big clubs who come sniffing.
“He’s on their radar now so they need to get that sorted.”
Villa’s next match is against Man Utd in the Premier League on Saturday.
Smith reveals Aston Villa injury
Smith has revealed that he will be without Jamaica winger Leon Bailey for a couple of matches.
The £25million signing made an impact last weekend as he scored in the 3-0 victory against Everton.
But he will now have to wait until potentially mid-October to get on the pitch again.
“Leon has a strain which is likely to keep him out until after the international break,” Smith said.
“We would be hopeful that he would be available for the Wolves game. But we will need to assess him nearer the time and see how he progresses over the next ten days or so.”