Rico Henry would be the ideal man to solve Aston Villa’s left-back woes
The report claims that Villa manager, Dean Smith, who has previously worked with the 21-year-old at Walsall and Brentford, rates the youngster very highly and wants him to add competition for places at Villa Park.
A product of Walsall’s youth academy, Henry was handed his first-team debut by Dean Smith back in 2014 and the youngster established himself as one of the brightest young talents in the League One. He moved to Brentford in 2016 to reunite with Smith.
Henry has had to battle with plenty of injuries during the course of his fledgeling career, as a long-term knee injury he suffered in the opening stages of the previous season kept him out of action for 14 months.
He has shown the character and the mental strength to bounce back midway through the ongoing season, making seven appearances in the Championship for the Bees so far. Henry, who has been capped 7 times by England at the U19 and U20 levels, is a diminutive left-back who stands at 5ft 7in.
However, he has considerable upper body strength, which allows him to be comfortable in contact situations. Primarily a left-back by trade, Henry has also been used as a wing-back and a winger at times due to his superior attacking prowess.
The 21-year-old’s main strength lies in one-on-one situations. While he is lightning quick and has the ability to beat the opposition with his sudden burst of pace and trickery, Henry has a very cool head on his shoulders and has mastered the art of tackling.
Furthermore, he is good with his passing and tends to contribute to the build-up play from the wide areas.
Henry is also known as a hardworking and a tenacious footballer who contributes equally to both sides of the game by constantly moving up and down the pitch.
To put things into perspective, he would be an ideal signing for Aston Villa in January as the Lions need another quality left-back in their ranks to cover for the absence of their first-choice left-back Neil Taylor, who is currently on the sidelines.
Dean Smith has used Alan Hutton on the left-hand side of the backline to cover for the absence of Taylor, with Ahmed Elmohamady filling in at right-back.
However, that ploy used by Smith hasn’t yielded the best results for the team during the festive period and the Lions need a permanent solution to their left-back crisis.
The Lions have already signed goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic and centre-back Kortney Hause and they can further boost their chances of promotion by signing the young and promising Rico Henry.
That said, they should go all out to sign him, with three weeks still to go in the January transfer window.