Aston Villa's youngest ever player during the Premier League era has extended his Villa career, by signing his first pro contract with the club.
Aston Villa today announced that Rushian Hepburn-Murphy has signed a deal with the club, tying down the promising striker until 2017.
Happy to have signed my first professional contract for Aston Villa ⚽️ #avfc— Rushian H-Murphy (@Rushcmpt) September 21, 2015
Hepburn-Murphy made the headlines during last season's 4-0 win over Sunderland, as his second half substitute debut made him the youngest Villa player during the Premier League era, and the second youngest in Villa history. That particular distinction belongs to Jimmy Brown, who was just 15 years 349 days old when he made his debut during the 1969-70 season.
Hepburn-Murphy, who turns 17 on Saturday is the latest talent to emerge from the Villa youth academy, which has produced players such as Jack Grealish, Lee Hendrie and Daniel Sturridge over the years. Tying him down to a pro deal is a smart move on Villa's part, as it makes it harder to any bigger clubs to come in and sign him.
It isn't just Hepburn-Murphy that is impressing in the youth ranks, Andre Green and Easah Suliman look to be growing into talented players whilst former U18 captain Kevin Toner has this week joined Kidderminster Harriers on a loan deal.