Young players are often sent out on loan to gain experience and develop raw footballing talents. After a successful summer in the England set-up, Josh Onomah came to Aston Villa in order to do just that.
The start of the Championship campaign allowed the Tottenham-loanee to express himself amongst Steve Bruce’s side and he impressed. Subsequently, attention turned to the youngster’s future beyond this season. Since then, his form has been indifferent and his future remains uncertain. Has Onomah spiralled into a confusion over his playing career whilst at Villa?
Bit harsh- the kid’s only 20?
It is a very fair point. Personally, I was quite impressed with Onomah’s performance at the beginning of the season. WhoScored award him an average rating of 6.69 for his Championship appearances. Meanwhile, the player has contributed four goals and an assist during his time at the club. Key goals against Bristol City and Sunderland ensured that Aston Villa saved and won points. At the same time, the player seems to have frustrated certain Villa fans with his performances:
Conversely, there are others who believe that Steve Bruce is not utilising Onomah in the correct way. Whilst the Villa boss has positioned him further forward in the number ten role, others believe he is better suited to a deeper role.
The fans are confused? What must be going around the player’s head?
As alluded to above, there is an argument that too much is going through the player’s head. Onomah hit his most consistent form in November, according to WhoScored. At that time, talk began to turn to the future. Would Onomah remain at the club in the long-term?
The player provided the answer himself to the Birmingham Mail, with an article posted on 22nd November. Within the article, the twenty-year-old made his intentions clear: he wanted to help Villa achieve promotion before returning to his parent club. Thereafter, many feel that the player’s form has dipped. A notably poor performance occurred against Leeds United.
As a youngster, it is natural that such games will happen. Ability is not the issue that has led to Onomah’s dip in form, but uncertainty could definitely have contributed.
Meanwhile, supporters of Tottenham Hotspur have also been discussing the player:
*As a disclaimer for the following paragraph, none of the opinions expressed by supporters can be regarded as completely authentic. However, the ideas are definitely worth speculating about.*
A Spurs forum, www.spurscommunity.co.uk, held an intriguing discussion about Onomah yesterday evening. One fan, who claimed very tenuous links to the player, argued that the youngster is unhappy with his advanced position. He also alleges that the player had previously been frustrated by his treatment by Mauricio Pochettino. In addition, there are also suggestions made that Aston Villa have offered him a permanent deal.
Pressure On Young Shoulders
Although an interesting read, the forum is by no means an acceptable source to report. Nonetheless, there are elements of truth in the post upon which speculation could rise. It is true that rather than the number ten role that Onomah has occupied for Villa, he played in a deeper-lying position during the Under-20 World Cup last summer. Therefore, one may understand a sense of frustration if positioning is an issue for Onomah.
Furthermore, the player may be conflicted over the club at which his development can be best carried out. Clearly, the player wishes to return to Spurs after completing his loan stint at B6. However, other players such as Harry Winks have emerged during his absence.
Winks has also occupied the deeper-lying role that fans suspect Onomah prefers. Therefore, the Villa-loanee must be even more desperate to impress before he returns.
This is a situation made even more complicated by the resurgence of Aston Villa’s own Jack Grealish. His recent good form could well halt Onomah’s return to the starting eleven following the loanee’s concussion at Middlesbrough. Compounded by an array of midfield options, the Tottenham youngster may have to be patient to obtain another chance at impressing.
Patience From Player And Fans
Both Onomah and the Villa faithful must be patient. The loanee’s impressive performances at the beginning of the season must be taken into account. As above, the slight lull in consistency following the Birmingham Mail article owes itself to uncertainty rather than a lack of ability.
A lot goes around the mind of a twenty-year-old, whether they are a student or a future star football player. If there is any truth in the Spurs’ forum post, the player must await his time. Let us not kid ourselves either, Onomah will be a very good player in a few years time. Onomah just needs nurturing.
Those who argue that we should be supporting our own youngsters have a decent point, but the season is still long and our depth may be our strength. There’s a lot more to come from Onomah yet!