Who is Samuel Iling-Junior? The young talent linked with Aston Villa

As it looks increasingly likely that Samuel Iling-Junior will join Aston Villa from Juventus as part of the deal that sees Douglas Luiz head the other way, let's take a look at his attributes and find out more about the Englishman.
Bologna FC v Juventus - Serie A TIM
Bologna FC v Juventus - Serie A TIM / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

Samuel Iling-Junior is a left footed wing-back who featured in The Guardian's list of the 60 best young talents in the world to be born in 2003. Iling-Junior featured 27 times for the Italian giants last season, mostly from the bench, and scored one goal. Fabrizio Romano has this morning confirmed that the player is keen on the prospect of joining Aston Villa and therefore the fans will be intrigued to know what sort of player they will have on their hands. Despite fans feeling disappointed by Douglas Luiz's (potential) exit from the club, fans can be excited at the names that Unai Emery will bring in.

Born in Islington, Iling-Junior is a product of the Chelsea academy having joined the blues at the age of 8 in 2011. After spending nine years at Stamford Bridge, he signed a three year contract with Juventus having rejected an athletic sponsorship deal.


In August 2021, Iling-Junior made his debut for the Juventus U23's in Serie C. Following a series of impressive performances on the left side of midfield/defence he was rewarded with his first call up to the first team. He didn't make his first team debut at that point, but did in October 2022 in Juventus's Serie A match against Empoli. Just days later, he made his Champions League debut. Fast forward to May 2023 and Iling-Junior made his first start for the Juventus first team and scored his first goal in the 2-0 win away at Atalanta. As a player who hasn't racked up a huge amount of game time at the highest level, it will be interesting to see what role he plays at Villa Park should he join this summer.

So, what are the players strengths that will make him a useful asset to Unai Emery?

1. Pace (lots of it!)

Samuel Iling-Junior
AC Milan v Juventus / Dave Bernal/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Probably his great asset is his pace down the left hand side. He has a clear ability to get past his opposite man using his pace alone around the outside and it would certainly provide a different dynamic to the Villa defence.

2. Dribbling

Samuel Iling Junior
England v Luxembourg - UEFA U21 Euro 2025 Qualifier / Jess Hornby/GettyImages

To go with his pace, Iling-Junior has exceptional close ball control in his dribbling. A player with quick feet and fantastic individual skill allows him to get past opponents regularly even when in tight spaces. He is someone who likes to use stepovers and deception with the body to eliminate opponents in a similar way to that of Leon Bailey.

3. Power


At 6ft tall Iling-Junior is a physical player that has the strength to brush past defenders at ease. He is also a player that is not afraid to make challenges defensively and he will certainly add a physical prowess to the Villa backline and/or midfield.

4. Crossing

Samuel Iling Junior
Atalanta BC v Juventus FC - Coppa Italia 2023/2024 Final / Silvia Lore/GettyImages

Highlited during his time for Juventus Next Gen and the Juventus age group sides was his ability to cross the ball from all positions. Whether he gets to the byeline or crosses from deeper, he is very accurate with his crosses into the box. During the 2022/23 season, he maintained a very high accuracy of 66.7% whilst averaging 2.47 crosses per game. That is the kind of service the likes of Ollie Watkins will be thrilled to have!

With rumours circulating that Alex Moreno is keen to return to Real Betis this summer, Iling-Junior arriving at Villa Park could spell the end of Moreno's time at the club. Moreno had a injury-hit 2023/24 campaign and struggled to recapture the blistering form he showed towards the end of his first season with the club.