Aston Villa striker Cameron Archer announced himself in some style on Tuesday night, marking his full debut for the club with a clinical and confidently-taken hat-trick in their 6-0 EFL Cup thumping of Barrow.
But who is the 19 year-old whose exploits have marked him out as one to watch for the 2021-2022 season?
Sportsmail’s Adrian Kajumba has answered your need to know questions about the teenager.
Cameron Archer marked his full debut with a confidently-taken hat-trick against Barrow
Sportsmail’s Adrian Kajumba has answered your need to know questions about the teenager
How long has he been at Villa?
Walsall-born and raised Archer has been at Aston Villa since the age of six and progressed all the way through their youth system to the first team. In some ways, his emergence should not be a surprise as he has long been well thought of.
Two-footed frontman Archer has always been prolific during his academy years and played for the U23s at the age of just 16, another indication of his talent.
Archer (above) has been at Aston Villa since the age of six and progressed all the way through their youth system to the first team
He comes from a big football family doesn’t he?
Yes indeed. Alongside mum Veronie, dad Richard is the big driving factor in the football careers of Cameron and his three older brothers.
The eldest Aaron is the lead first-team coach at non-league Dudley Town and has helped put Cameron through his paces in extra summer training sessions to prepare him for the season.
Archer comes from a football family (mum right and Dad left) with his eldest brother Aaron (Right of Archer) being the lead first-team coach at non-league Dudley Town and his other brother Jordan (Left of Archer) being a striker at Southport
Jordan is a striker – and not the QPR goalkeeper – who has played for the likes of Bury, Port Vale and is now at Southport.
Lewis was also a striker previously on Villa’s books too. As you might imagine there is immense pride but also no surprise at Cameron’s progress among his family. Aaron tweeted on Tuesday night: ‘Told you don’t sleep on my bro!!!’
Although Tuesday night was a breakout display, he’s been involved with the first team before hasn’t he?
Yes. Archer made his first-team debut aged 17 almost exactly two years ago but it may have gone under the radar. He came on as a late sub in a 6-1 EFL Cup win at Crewe and was involved in Villa’s final goal scored by £100m man Jack Grealish.
Archer made his first-team debut aged 17 almost exactly two years ago but it may have gone under the radar. He came on as a late sub in a 6-1 EFL Cup win at Crewe (above)
What happened next?
Archer went back to the U23s, featuring twice and scoring once in the EFL Trophy, but with youth football at the end of that campaign curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic Archer was itching to get out and play some senior football during 2020-2021.
He opted to stay local and joined Solihull Moors and the spell was productive with Archer getting almost 30 first-team games under his belt.
Archer spent time with Solihull Moors – getting almost 30 first-team games under his belt
How did his return to the Villa first-team come about?
Archer was initially training with the U23s in pre-season but a couple of injuries opened the door for him and he has taken his chance and caught the eye whenever given the opportunity.
Archer scored a hat-trick in a recent in-house squad involving first teamers and members of Villa’s U23s and then scored two in two Premier League 2 games, grabbing an assist as well to continue his form.
Smith had taken note and Archer only just missed out on a place in Villa’s matchday squad for their 2-0 win against Newcastle on Saturday. He only had to wait a few more days for his chance against Barrow and the rest is history.
Archer only just missed out on a place in Villa’s matchday squad for their 2-0 win against Newcastle on Saturday (above)
What are his coaches saying?
Villa assistant Craig Shakespeare said: ‘We went on a pre-season training camp and he came down and did really well – caught everyone’s eye with his enthusiasm and goalscoring ability.
‘We talked about the development of young players and he got the opportunity tonight [against Barrow], and boy did he take it.
‘I’m so pleased for him, as I was with the team overall. For him to get his hat-trick, it’s great for him.’
Villa assistant Craig Shakespeare says he is really ‘pleased’ for Archer following his hat-trick