Aston Villa Make Double Irish Addition to the Youth Ranks
Aston Villa have bolstered their academy ranks by acquiring two players from the Northern Irish Premier League.
Cole Brannigan and Callum Moreland are set to embark on their professional careers with Aston Villa after finalizing their transfers from Linfield.
Both players have inked four-year contracts with Villa and will be making the transition to Bodymoor Heath next week.
Brannigan, an attacking midfielder who is adept at playing on the wing, and Moreland, a 16-year-old left-sided centre-back, have already represented Northern Ireland at the youth level. The Irish FA holds high expectations that their skills will fast-track their ascent to the senior international squad.
Although Brannigan had attracted interest from Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Leeds, he and the sought after Moreland have opted to join Aston Villa’s youth ranks.
Linfield’s Youth Advantage
Linfield enjoys a significant financial advantage over other clubs in Northern Ireland, thanks to their ownership of the National Stadium in Belfast, Windsor Park. As a result, the national team must pay rent to utilise the stadium for international matches.
This financial arrangement benefits Linfield by £200,000 annually, allowing them to allocate a substantial amount to the Linfield Youth academy for securing the most promising talent in Northern Ireland.
Dale Taylor and Callum Marshall have made moves to Nottingham Forest and West Ham United, respectively, and have become full Northern Ireland internationals. Other recent Linfield graduates, such as Ruairi McConville and Charlie Allen, are currently part of the youth setups at Leeds and Brighton.
Maybe one day both of Villa’s new Northern Irish acquisitions can hit the heights of former Villan Steven Davis.
Follow Phil on Twitter here – @prsgame