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Ajax 'exploring summer move for Aston Villa starlet'

Ajax 'exploring summer move for Aston Villa starlet'
© Reuters
Ajax are allegedly contemplating whether to make an approach for Aston Villa midfielder Tim Iroegbunam in the summer.

Aston Villa midfielder Tim Iroegbunam is reportedly attracting interest from Ajax.

Iroegbunam is one of a wide array of academy graduates that has been provided with first-team opportunities in recent years.

The 20-year-old did not come through the standard route, only being acquired from West Bromwich Albion in 2021, yet he is one of the domestic young players who has avoided being sold over the past 12 months.

Uni Emery has not necessarily handed the prospect many opportunities with just one start and seven substitute outings being made in all competitions.

As a result of the long-term injury suffered by Boubacar Kamara, the majority of Iroegbunam's game time has come recently, including in the Europa Conference League.

Ollie Watkins celebrates scoring for Aston Villa against Ajax on March 14, 2024.© Reuters

Iroegbunam was handed a surprise start in the first leg of the last-16 tie against Ajax, coming through 74 minutes as Villa earned a goalless draw in Amsterdam.

A week later, the England Under-20 international was introduced for the final 16 minutes as the West Midlands outfit thrashed the same opponents by a 4-0 scoreline to progress through to the quarter-finals.

With John McGinn suspended for the derby with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday evening, Iroegbunam is in contention to start at Villa Park.

According to Football Insider, Iroegbunam could have Ajax assessing his performance having made a lasting impression on the Dutch giants.

Ajax interim coach John van't Schip looks on on March 14, 2024© Reuters

The report claims that Iroegbunam features on a shortlist of transfer targets at the Eredivisie side, who are likely to appoint a permanent head coach to replace interim incumbent John van't Schip.

Having spent less than three years at Villa Park, Iroegbunam is yet to be viewed as a homegrown player, but that will change this summer.

In 2021, Villa allegedly paid a six-figure sum to sign him from the Baggies, and would stand to make a substantial profit should they cash in on his services.

Villa recently announced a loss of £119.6m for the 2022-23 campaign, with it allegedly being imperative that they generate funds in the next transfer window in order to pass the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability Rules.

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Aston Villa manager Unai Emery before the match on March 2, 2024
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