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Academy Manager Mark Harrison has described the signing of Louie Barry from Barcelona as a powerful message of ambition by the football club.
The highly-rated teenager has made the move to Villa subject to international clearance and will go straight into the Academy set-up at Bodymoor Heath.
And Harrison says the 16-year-old is a player who has always caught the eye as he has progressed through the age groups.
“It (Louie’s signing) sends a powerful message about the ambition of this football club,” he told VillaTV.
“We’re delighted – Louie is a local person and his family are all Villa fans, as is Louie.
“He is still a very young man but as he’s developed, he’s always been one player that you always recognise as having outstanding attributes. He’s got a fantastic mentality, he’s desperate to do well for this football club.
“He’s really driven, he’s got great family support, but in terms of what he can achieve, we firmly believe that he can be an outstanding number nine for this football club.”
With the likes of Indiana Vassilev, Cameron Archer and Jacob Ramsey all stepping up to play for the first team this season, Harrison believes that a visible pathway to the senior side from the Academy is vital for Villa’s youngsters.
“It’s a significant thing that we’ve done but we have to get the programmes right and the pathways right for these players,” he added.
“We’ve laid down the foundations now.
“What it does show (the Academy players representing the first team) is that with the right attitude and application, what can be achieved in a short space of time.”
To see the full interview with Mark, click here to watch on VillaTV.