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Jordan Graham signs professional contract


PompeyVillan
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Academy starlet Jordan Graham has signed his first professional contract with Villa.

The talented winger, who turned 17 on Monday, has put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at the club until June 2014.

Graham first caught the eye last season with a string of appearances in the Barclays Premier Academy League and the FA Youth Cup despite still being a schoolboy.

This term the Coventry-born attacker has been in a rich vein of form for Tony McAndrew's U18 team with a run of six goals from five games at the start of 2012.

As well as making appearances in the reserves and the NextGen Series, Graham has also earned recognition at international level.

He helped England U17s to a victory in the four-team Algarve Tournament last month along with club mates Josh Webb and Callum Robinson.

His long-term aim is to follow in the footsteps of fellow academy graduates like Gabby Agbonlahor and Marc Albrighton by starring for Villa's first team.

"I've been here since I was eight and I have just loved every minute of it, I wouldn't change anything," said Graham.

"My long-term goals are obviously to get into the first team or on to the bench.

"If I am playing well in the youth team and the reserves and do what Tony and Kev want me to do then hopefully I can do it.

"Villa produce so many good young players, it is outstanding here.

"The likes of Gabby Agbonlahor, Ciaran Clark and Marc Albrighton are players all of our youth team look at and seeing how they are doing it.

"You look at them and think it is possible for everyone and it drives you to where you want to get to."

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It is not unusual to do that at 17, the lads who got a pro contract last summer only got a year. The problem is that a lot of young lads have had it all at the age of 17 or 18 and are sitting on a 4 or 5 year deal on decent money without ever having achieved anything. Connor Clifford at Chelsea being a good example, never anywhere near Chelsea first team but has had 3 loan spells into the lower leagues but has been on a £12,000+ a week contract since signing pro in 2009!!

Wouldn't be at all surprised to see the club reward him with a new bumper deal should he make his way into the first team in the next 12-18 months.

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If Houllier had stayed in charge, I believe he would have made the first team by now, he was certainly told by the club that he could be involved this season.

My opinion is that he could go on to be a World beater, he could also quite easily become a nobody. Unless he can cope with the physical aspect of senior football, he will get kicked to pieces and may even struggle to cope down the divisions. I think he is great and should be given an opportunity as soon as we can afford to, really is a very talented young man.

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If Houllier had stayed in charge, I believe he would have made the first team by now, he was certainly told by the club that he could be involved this season.

My opinion is that he could go on to be a World beater, he could also quite easily become a nobody. Unless he can cope with the physical aspect of senior football, he will get kicked to pieces and may even struggle to cope down the divisions. I think he is great and should be given an opportunity as soon as we can afford to, really is a very talented young man.

As often the case in relation to our young players, I totally agree with you Andy.

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Poor kid. I feel sorry for him, when he gets near the first team I imagine all enthusiasm and attacking intent will be drilled out of him in no time.

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I agree with Andy. This lad could be something really special. On his day he can be unplayable and every club in the country would have liked to sign him. It remains to be seen if he can translate his natural ability on to the higher levels of the game but if he can we will have a fantastic winger for the first team.

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