Villa announce first signing of summer window

Aston Villa have signed their first player in the summer transfer window.

You may not have seen the yellow ticker break the news on the sports channel or sports media awash with the confirmation. The signing comes from Exeter City for an undisclosed fee.

Ben Chrisene is the name and is unlikely to be involved in first-team plans for a few years yet. He will go straight into Villa’s academy and looks one for the future.

The midfielder was reportedly attracting interest from the game’s top clubs, with Liverpool, Chelsea and Bayern Munich all making considerable efforts to sign him.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard contacted him personally and Liverpool invited him as a VIP guest to a Champions League game, while Chrisene even featured in a youth game for the German giants.

But it was a move to the Midlands he fancied after turning down a contract with the Devon club.

The 16-year-old made five senior appearances for Exeter City last season – a single League Two appearance coming on for the final ten minutes in the victory against Cambridge United.

He became the club’s youngest senior debutant last year, beating now Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu, as he came on as a substitute against Coventry City in the Carabao Cup.

The capped England youth international arrives at Bodymoor Heath highly rated and will join Aaron O’Reilly and fellow defender Sil Swinkels in the latest academy acquisition.

Signings that show the club is not only planning for here and now, but also the future.

Villa have made a conscious effort to secure academy signings in the summer and Chief Executive, Christian Purslow, had previously outlined the club’s desire and vision to strengthen the current academy group with talent from abroad and closer to home.

That vision and desire will hopefully create the next “home-grown” England hero.