The rumors and rumblings have been out for awhile — but Aston Villa have a new teenager in town after finishing a move from Barcelona. That is not a sentence a Villa supporter is used to writing or reading.
The club has announced the transfer of 16-year-old Louie Barry. (The writer grumbles audibly because the kid is quite literally half his age).
"It sends a powerful message about the ambition of this football club."— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 23, 2020
Academy Manager Mark Harrison on the arrival of Louie Barry from Barcelona... #AVFC
And young Barry’s story is one that has the potential to become one of Villa lore. At the age of six Barry joined West Brom’s academy. Last summer Barcelona signed Barry to their famed development camp — and only being forced to pay a small compensation fee of 235,000 pounds — much the (justified) anger of West Brom. To make the anger worse — and even more justified — the Spanish giants reportedly not even paid the small bill.
Fast forward six months — now Villa have signed the lad paying Barcelona just under a million pounds — which could triple given some first team milestones. Tidy quick profit for Barcelona, yet another reason for West Brom to be mad, but most importantly — a new and promising player for Villa.
To make things even better — he comes from a family of local Villa supporters.
Academy Manager Mark Harrison told the Villa website, “We’re delighted - Louie is a local person and his family are all Villa fans, as is Louie. He is still a very young man but as he’s developed, he’s always been one player that you always recognise as having outstanding attributes. He’s got a fantastic mentality, he’s desperate to do well for this football club. He’s really driven, he’s got great family support, but in terms of what he can achieve, we firmly believe that he can be an outstanding number nine for this football club.”
It has been a wild ride for young Barry over the last year — and the future is bright for him.
And yes — West Brom is still quite mad.