Both Manchester United and rivals Manchester City are reportedly keeping track of the progress of Aston Villa youngster Carney Chukwuemeka.
The 17-year-old has been receiving rave reviews for his displays for the club’s Under-23 side. The midfielder has made 16 appearances for the Villans’ youngsters this term. And he is not too far away from a senior debut, having been on the first-team bench twice in 2020-2021. Chukwuemeka was an unused substitute as Villa lost 2-1 to City on April 21.
And he also watched from the bench as Dean Smith’s side went down 2-1 to Leicester City back in February. It seems as though a debut might not be too far away for someone to explode on the scene.
Villa CEO Christian Purslow certainly believes so. He sung the starlet’s praise to the club’s Supporters’ Trust AGM last season.
“We have one right now, probably the best 16-year-old in England, Carney Chukwuemeka,” he enthused. “Absolutely no debate, he’s starting for the Under-23s. That’s what you want with your 16-year-olds.”
Football runs in the Chukwuemeka family. His brother, Caleb, plays as a forward for League One club Northampton Town.
The 19-year-old has scored twice in 21 outings for the Cobblers, with his younger sibling keen to follow suit. But it appears as though Carney has already done enough to be noticed by some of Europe’s top clubs.
In addition to the Manchester giants, Monaco, PSV Eindhoven and RB Leipzig are also interested, according to The Guardian. Juventus and Bayern Munich have also been linked in the past.
And it seems as though he will have a decision to make over his future. The West Midlanders will not want to lose such a talented youth star.
They tied him down to a three-year contract as he turned 17 last October. And the Villa Park outfit will look to extend that on his 18th birthday later this year.
Versatility marks Chukwuemeka apart
Capped by England at Under-17 and Under-18 level, Chukwuemeka can operate in many midfield roles. He is able to play as an attacking schemer to support the forwards or in a more deep-lying defensive position.
That makes him a manager’s dream and it would be no surprise to see Smith hand him a debut before long. Blessed with an ability to beat opponents and with bags of technical ability, he is one for the future.