Why Aston Villa should allow Callum O’Hare to stay out on loan
According to the Birmingham Live, Aston Villa starlet Callum O’Hare has opened up on his future at Coventry City beyond January, confirming that he would like to stay at St. Andrew’s for the entirety of the campaign.
The 21-year-old was farmed out on loan to the Sky Blues in League One prior to the start of Villa’s campaign in the Premier League, with Lions manager Dean Smith deciding that a temporary move away from Villa Park would be in the best interests of his development.
O’Hare hasn’t been an undisputed starter for Coventry City in League One this term but he has nailed down a substantial role in manager Mark Robins’ matchday squads.
The young midfielder has clocked up 8 starts while also entering the field of play as a substitute on a further 6 occasions, playing a key role in Coventry’s march up the League One standings.
O’Hare started the campaign on a fine note, finding the net in the 3-3 draw against Oxford United in August and following it up with another strike in a 3-2 victory over Blackpool in September.
However, he has failed to score in any of his last 13 outings for the Sky Blues in all competitions, a streak which has now stretched well over two months.
Despite that, however, the Solihull-born starlet continues to be a regular fixture in Robins’ squad and, as per the report, the 21-year-old is more than happy to continue his development at St. Andrew’s for the remainder of the campaign.
Villa do have the option to recall him in January, thanks to a recall clause that had been inserted in his loan agreement but O’Hare has made his stance on his future very clear, insisting that he would like to stay at Coventry City and help the club secure promotion to the Championship. (h/t Birmingham Live)
The attacking midfield rose through the youth ranks at Aston Villa before bursting on to the scene in the Championship during the 2017-18 campaign, making his first-team bow against Colchester United in a first-round League Cup tie.
However, he found himself farmed out on loan to Carlisle United in League Two during the latter half of the previous campaign to gain more professional exposure. The 21-year-old is presently serving his second loan spell away from his boyhood club and has reiterated his desire to stay there until the end of the season.
To put things into perspective, Aston Villa should be more than happy with the kind of progress that Callum O’Hare has made during the first four months of his loan spell at Coventry City and there is no reason why they should be looking to recall him midway through the campaign.
That Villa are now playing in the Premier League is only going to make it harder for an unproven young player like him to break into Dean Smith’s squad that is already stocked with a plethora of midfielders, and it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that staying at St. Andrew’s would be in the best interests of his development.
With Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane, Marvelous Nakamba, Douglas Luiz, Henri Lansbury and John McGinn all in the ranks at Villa Park, Aston Villa already have sufficient competition for places in the middle of the park and there is hardly any evidence to prove that someone like O’Hare would be an upgrade on any of them.
The 21-year-old is a bright young player with loads of potential but he is still very much a work in progress and needs time to make the step up to the top-flight.
Things could have been different had Villa been competing in the Championship but O’Hare doesn’t look like a finished article capable of making a big difference in the Premier League just yet.
Also, the fact that he is playing regularly at Coventry City is likely to work wonders for his development and spending a full season with a promotion-chasing side in League One could make it easier for him to make a smoother transition to the Premier League in the subsequent campaigns if Villa do have him in their plans moving forward.
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For the time being, though, Callum O’Hare spending the entirety of the ongoing campaign on loan at Coventry City seems to make perfect sense for all parties involved.