It’s more than safe to say that Andre Green hasn’t come out of nowhere. The 20-year old winger has been a known quantity to fans of Aston Villa for nigh on three to five years at this point. However, the technique of Dan Crowley, the quality of Jack Grealish, the promise of Rushian Hepburn-Murphy among others has done much to camouflage Green, who has just as much about him as Villa’s other talents.
However, where others have came into the team and starred, it is Green who seems to have truly faced adversity. While Grealish spent a portion of last season questioning his mortality after a torn kidney, Green fell to pieces after a recurring hamstring injury. While he had stolen the spotlight with a goal of high quality, he subsequently had the spotlight stolen from him by the vulnerability of the human frame and the muscles actioning all that he does.
Truly, it is hard to believe that Andre Green has yet to appear in twenty competitive games for the Villa. It’s also strange to consider that it was at this point last year where supporters of the club were calling into question the ‘unfulfilled’ potential of Jack Grealish, instead choosing to pin their banner to a new champion of their hopes in Andre. Grealish can consider his promise (at Villa at least) to be fulfilled for the most part, while Green continues his upscaling development. How lucky Villa are to have these two in the squad, right now.
For those who would seek to blemish Green by holding back expectations, fear not. The bar is there to be raised, and lofty praise will be poured upon a character like Green, for it is characters like Green who are able to push the boundaries of what we are able to expect. It is people like Green, who - for lack of a better term - ‘have it’. It is often that supporters of Villa fear praise being leaked upon promising youth, as fans of AVFC have often seen their hopes erode and dilapidate as youth stars are flung out from the club with potential seemingly all but dried up.
Andre Green’s 18 matches for Villa have shown everyone enough - of a winger who isn’t afraid to carry the team. A wide-reciever ready to capture the ball and deploy it with a side-footed finish into range. A player who will option a diagonal run into space to send a defense scurrying into uncomfortable positioning. There has seemingly never before been a player like Green, who shines above all - with only a few games under his belt. Green may be the key, he may be the gate to greatness, or he might be both. Forgive me for superlative, but Andre Green? He could be everything.