Why this 21-year-old London-born midfield ace could be a brilliant addition for Aston Villa

Sean Clare

Premier League promotion hopefuls Aston Villa are on the verge of signing promising midfielder Sean Clare from Sheffield Wednesday, as per reports from the Mirror (h/t Birmingham Live). 

Villa will be hoping to return to the English top-flight by beating Fulham, whom they will face in the EFL Championship playoffs at the Wembley this Sunday. Irrespective of whether they end up getting promoted or not, they are set to land the 21-year-old before the new season. 

Clare’s contract with the Hillsborough outfit is set to expire in a month’s time and having rejected an offer of a new deal, the midfielder will be available for free, although Villa will have to pay some compensation fee given that the player is under the age of 23.  

Clare joined the Owls from the Nike Academy back in the February 2016, initially linking up with the U23s setup and was loaned out to Bury FC a month later, where he just made four appearances.  

In January 2017, the midfielder was sent out on another temporary spell to Accrington Stanley, who were playing in League Two at the time.

Clare made 8 appearances for the club, scoring a single goal in the process. Having returned to the club at the end of the season, he was once again shipped out on loan in the summer to Gillingham FC, where he prospered.  

The 21-year-old made 26 appearances in all competitions for the League One outfit, finding the back of the net on one occasion and setting up three more, prompting Wednesday to recall him in the winter window.  

He made his debut for the Owls as a late substitute in a goalless draw against Sheffield United in January and went on to appear five times for Jos Luhukay’s side before the end of the season, netting one goal in the process, which incidentally came against his suitors, Aston Villa, in a 4-2 defeat.  

The London-born midfielder is a versatile operator who can slot in as a central midfielder or play on the right flank. He has also been used as an attacking midfielder on a number of occasions.  

An able dribbler of the ball, the 21-year-old has the ability to provide the forward thrust from the middle of the park, while he has also proven himself to be able to handle the defensive responsibilities that come with the role.

However, his passing and range of distribution will need to improve greatly if he is to develop into an all-round, dependable midfield mainstay.  

Clare hasn’t had a lot of exposure with Wednesday but he has managed to impress in whatever little playing time that he has been afforded, showing glimpses of great promise and potential.

Given that he is only 21 years old, there is still plenty of room for improvement and growth, making him an interesting prospect for the Villans, more so considering that he will cost them peanuts in compensation. 

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