Former Villa striker Dion Dublin today hailed manager Paul Lambert for sticking to his guns and backing the club’s young stars.
The Villans chief saw his youthful side keep the club in the Premier League last season after a major relegation scare.
And he has stuck with youngsters including Matt Lowton, Nathan Baker, Fabian Delph and Ashley Westwood along with young foreign players such as Antonio Luna and Andi Weimann, with 19 members of the 25-man squad Villa submitted to the Premier League last night aged 24 or under.
Dublin said: “That’s Paul Lambert’s stamp. It’s his signature dish, so to speak.
“He looks to give young players a chance. If he finds a player of an older age and quality, he’ll play them – but he does like to give young British talent a chance.
“That’s why he did so well at Norwich and other clubs he’s been at. He does believe in the quality of the youth of today. He’ll back it – and look at the way they’ve started. That’s why he is the man for Villa.”
In addition to the 19 youngsters in the 25-man squad, Lambert has under-21s Jores Okore, Gary Gardner and Jed Steer available.
Aston Villa’s 25-man squad: Agbonlahor, Albrighton, Bacuna, Baker, Bennett, Benteke, Bowery, Clark, Delph, El Ahmadi, Given, Guzan, Helenius, Herd, Kozak, Lowton, Luna, N’Zogbia, Stevens, Stieber, Sylla, Tonev, Vlaar, Weimann, Westwood.