The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece has delivered an exciting Aston Villa update on Louie Barry.

What’s the story?

The 18-year-old came into the spotlight last season after scoring in the FA Cup defeat against Liverpool, a game which saw Villa’s youngsters having to step into the shoes of the senior side and take on Jurgen Klopp’s men.

That appearance was his sole outing for Dean Smith’s first-team, and now, Preece has confirmed that as well as seeing his contract extended, the Midlands club are expected to include him in plans for pre-season.

What should Villa do with Barry?

1st team squad!

1st team squad!

Loan him!

Loan him!

He said: “Aston Villa have extended Louie Barry’s contract by another year until 2024 with a cluster of fellow FA Youth Cup winners penning new deals.

“Villa paid £950,000 to bring Barry in from Barcelona more than 18 months ago and, this summer, the teenage striker is expected to feature in Dean Smith’s first-team plans over pre-season.”

Fans will be buzzing

Given the excitement with which Villa fans celebrated Barry’s goal against the Reds, and the big future that they have tipped him for, supporters will no doubt be buzzing with Preece’s latest update on the teenager.

With only Wesley and Keinan Davis providing real back-up for Ollie Watkins – and neither have really convinced with just 12 goals in 110 games for the club – there’s a real chance for Barry to stake his claim in the first-team next season in the Premier League.

Giving him the opportunity to impress with the rest of the senior players in pre-season will give Smith a first-hand opportunity to see what he’s like in a more pressure-filled environment than with the U23s, and have him get used to the speed and intensity with which they play.

So, news that Barry is expected to feature in Smith’s plans over pre-season is surely likely to have Villa fans buzzing as they see one of the club’s brightest young prospects rubbing shoulders with the senior side.

Meanwhile, Villa are set for an exciting boost…

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