There is a growing belief in Villa Park that the jewel of their academy can be stolen from under their noses.
Carney Chukwuemeka, 18, is a talisman for Aston Villa Under-18s in 2021 – featuring in their FA Youth Cup campaign as they lifted the trophy by beating Liverpool in the final.
However, with the opportunity in the first team difficult to come, the Austrian midfielder is having to ponder his future.
So far, Chukwuemeka has refused to sign a new agreement to commit after 2023.
Arsenal and now Borussia Dortmund are keeping a close eye on developments as they contemplate a search for the coveted talent.
Start at Villa
Chukwuemeka was dropped from Northampton Town’s academy in 2016.
He worked his way through the ranks and was considered a future star for the first team from a young age by club insiders.
But it was last April that many in the football world had to be wary of his remarkable abilities.
The player impressed in the 6-1 defeat of Newcastle United in the FA Youth Cup semi-final, scoring a hat-trick to send his side into the final.
Villa will go on to beat Liverpool in the match with a score of 2-1, pulled by Chukwuemeka.
Not only did he end up as the league’s top scorer with seven goals.
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A week ago, he made his first-team debut, heading straight into the field against Tottenham Hotspur.
His meteoric rise saw the youngster being named the club’s Young Player of the Year.
However, the problem is behind the scenes of filming.
As usual, wonderkids with abundant skills are expected to play many minutes in the main lineup.
Chukwuemeka had a few minutes, but not as much as he wanted.
He got his first game in the second game of the season as Villa were only able to secure a home draw against Brentford.
But his performance stood out in a disappointing result.
Pundit Paul Merson hailed him as “outstanding” and said “he would be an absolute star”.
Chukwuemeka has since started off the bench, although his last game was on 13 February when he played just five minutes in the defeat to Newcastle.
A stalled contract seems to have hampered his growth.
Back in January, Villa manager Steven Gerrard revealed talks over a new deal for Chukwuemeka were underway.
“We want him to sign and renew and reward him for what we’ve seen so far,” Gerrard revealed in a press conference.
“We have big aspirations and a big road map for Carney, but to answer your question, there’s only one person who can answer and that’s Carney.”
However, last week, the Liverpool legend said he was baffled with how those discussions were progressing.
“No, no. As far as I know, they haven’t progressed yet,” he told reporters.
“We’ve done all we can on our part to try and help them improve. I’m not sure that’s up to this point.”
With his future in the air, only Carney knows his next move. Be it at the Emirates or Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, where he realizes his true potential.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4913624/carney-chukwuemeka-aston-villa-arsenal-transfer/ Meet Aston Villa idol Carney Chukwuemeka, 18, who stole a new contract at Villa Park and is wanted by Arsenal