If there's one thing we can take away from the early transfer rumors, it's that Tim Sherwood wants young players. So far, Aston Villa have been linked with Chelsea's 21-year-old Patrick Bamford, Swindon Town's 22-year-old Massimo Luongo, and Tottenham Hotspur's 22-year-old Alex Pritchard, among a number of other younger players. These links are not exactly a surprise, given the evidence of Sherwood's willingness to work with younger players during his time both at Spurs and at Villa.
Continuing the theme of young players, Sherwood has reportedly set his sights on another Swindon Town midfielder, Ben Gladwin. The 22-year-old scored eight league goals and contributed eight assists for the Robins this year, netting twice more during their unsuccessful playoff bid for promotion to the Championship. The Telegraph recently reported that Villa have offered 3.5 million pounds to Swindon for Gladwin and Luongo, both of whom have caught Tim Sherwood's eye. Swindon town have been holding out for 4 million pounds for the pair, but after losing out on promotion to Preston North End, the Robins may struggle to hold on to the highly rated duo.
The report also mentions Sherwood's relationship with Lee Power, Swindon Town's Chairman. Sherwood and members of his staff have been spotted at a number of Swindon games this year, and Sherwood also let the League One side train at Bodymoor Heath prior to their play-off final at Wembley. Even before Sherwood signed on at Villa, he identified Gladwin as a player to watch. In a column last December for the Independent, Sherwood wrote, "[Gladwin] came up through non-league, most recently having played for Marlow, and can play a range of positions including centre-half, wing-back and midfield. Uses his size well. Great feet and technically very confident."
Clearly Sherwood rates the pair of Gladwin and Luongo highly, and he is not the only one, as he has to compete with Queens Park Rangers, who have recently matched Villa's offer for the duo. If Sherwood could complete the deal for the reported price, it would be an extremely tidy bit of business for the Villa manager. With the return of Gary Gardner and potential permanent transfer of Tom Cleverley, midfield may not be as pressing of a concern as it was a few months ago. But adding two young, highly-rated players, especially at such an inexpensive price, would serve to only strengthen and energize a Villa side which clearly ran low on energy in the last few weeks of the Premier League campaign.
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