Express & Star

Aston Villa's Jacob Ramsey named Premier League academy graduate of the season

Villa ace Jacob Ramsey has followed in the footsteps of Bukayo Saka, Mason Mount and Marcus Rashford by being named the Premier League’s academy graduate of the season.

Aston Villa's Jacob Ramsey

The 21-year-old midfielder collected the prize, created to honour players who have made a successful transition from academy to first-team, at the league’s annual youth development conference earlier this week.

Ramsey, who joined Villa aged six, has enjoyed another strong season for Villa, featuring in all but three of the club’s Premier League matches, while scoring six goals and registering five assists.

He marked his 100th senior appearance in style last Saturday by netting the opener in a 1-1 draw at Liverpool which put Villa’s fate in the race for a Europa Conference League place in their own hands heading into the final week of the season.

Ramsey has also been a mainstay of the England under-21 team, wearing the captain’s armband in their most recent match against Croatia. He is expected to be named in the squad for this summer’s European Championships.

The graduate award was established to recognise players who act as role models for generations to come. Saka, Rashford and Trent Alexander-Arnold are among the previous winners.

Ramsey was handed his first-team debut by Dean Smith in Villa’s 2018-19 promotion-winning campaign and enjoyed a successful loan spell at Doncaster Rovers, then managed by former Albion defender Darren Moore, the following season.

He made his Premier League debut for Villa in a 3-0 win at Fulham in September, 2020. His first start came in a 1-0 victory at Wolves three months later.

Reflecting on reaching 100 appearances for the club last weekend, Ramsey said: “I’m really proud. I’m 21 and I remember my first appearance for the club at home against West Brom, coming on, looking nervous, shaky.

“But I’m proud and thankful for all the managers I’ve had in my time here to believe in me and play me.”