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Gary Gardner - The future of Aston Villa's midfield.


Magic J
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The name might be familiar, thats because he is the younger brother of current EPL footballer, and ex Aston Villa Academy player Craig Gardner.

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Name: Gary Gardner

D:O:B: 29/06/1992

Age: 18 Years old

Position: Centre Midfield

Not On Database.

Gary has always been well thought of within the Aston Villa academy, a player with genuine potential. Through consistent performances the clubs Website states "Gary has proven himself as on of Villa's most exciting prospects".

During last seasons Under 18 campaign, Gary a box to box midfielder was crucial to the success of the team due to an fantastic start to the season which saw the youngster net 14 times, till cruelly mid way into the season, Gary was dealt a bad hand, and faced months off due to a Cruicate Ligament injury.

Three of his fourteen goals in his short stint came against Rochdale in the FA youth cup third round.

Gary is involved with the Reserve team and with Kevin MacDonald set to take back the reigns as Reserve team manager, coupled with his and the clubs youth philosophy, he is bound to be instrumental in any reserve team.

Gary has represented England at U16, U17, U18 & U19 and should continue to do so once he resumes fitness from his long term lay off. In the one appearance for the U19, Gary grabbed himself a goal

Gary signed a two year professional contract at the age of 17 with Aston Villa. A year on, and he is as highly rated as ever. National Press ( Sky Sports News & Daily Mail ) , recently ran a story on the youngster.

Skysports.com understands a host of top clubs at home and abroad are tracking Aston Villa youngster Gary Gardner.

Gardner is regarded as one of the brightest young talents in England having come through the ranks at Villa.

The talented midfielder is the younger brother of Birmingham ace Craig Gardner and he is tipped for a big future in the game.

The 18-year-old, who has played at all youth levels for England, is on his way back to fitness after a knee injury.

Gardner has just one year remaining on his contract at Villa and a number of Premier League rivals are believed to be monitoring his situation.

Champions League holders Inter Milan are also thought to be keeping tabs on Gardner with Inter boss Rafa Benitez a confirmed admirer of the teenager from his time in charge of Liverpool.

Villa are keen to keep hold of Gardner as they see the midfielder as one of their rising stars for the future.

It is clear, that people within football rate this kid, be it the Villa coaching staff, England Youth setup staff, or as this story reports the scouts of Rafael Benitez and Inter Milan.

Not for one second do i A) Believe he will leave B) That Benitez would make any form of move for him.

But being linked to such clubs coupled with his ability and past achievements suggests the kid has some talent.

This lad was the Villa U18 Captain, and from the few games iv seen him play, i have no doubts, he will make it as a proffessional footballer, and im hoping we will see glimpes of him this season, but with the competition he faces for places in the first team, it will be a tough battle. But i suspect he will stay at Villa for longer than the likes of Sidwell and Reo Coker will, and with Petrov not getting any younger, the stage is set for a prodigy to become the real thing.

Ill try to update, and will add any videos or more information when i have a little more time.

04/11/2010 - Gary is cleared by the clubs medical team and specialist to resume full training.

03/12/2010 - Gary signs a new 3 and a half year contract, click here for more information

10/01/2011 - Gary makes his return to football after injury

11/11/2011 - Gary scores 2 great goals for England U21's.

24/11/2011 - Gary completes his loan move to Coventry

26/11/2011 - Gary scores on both his professional and coventry debut, in a 2-1 defeat to Brighton.

03/12/2011 - Grabs one assist against Portsmouth

03/12/2011 - Professional debut for Aston Villa coming on in the 3-1 win over Chelsea

21/01/2012 - Full debut for Aston Villa in the 3-2 derby win over Wolves

Picture Gallery.

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Gardner and Hogg celebrate winning the reserve league

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Gary playing for England ( youth setup ).

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Guest Villa888

Re: Gary Gardner - Aston Villa's future CM

This kid is absolutely amazing. He's had his injuries but he's still being tracked by the likes of Inter, Liverpool and so on. Top class kid. Probably the best up and coming English midfielder.

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Re: Gary Gardner - Aston Villa's future CM

We'll see' date=' but hopefully he stays at Villa for while and makes his name there or as we have seen in the past his "future" could be ruined by going to a big club.[/quote']

I fully expect him to stay at Villa for a long time to come, at the very minimum have his break through season with us and hopefully go on to establish himself in our starting 11.

I have a few quotes, and blog posts from various people on him, ill post them soon to all who care ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Re: Gary Gardner - Aston Villa's future CM

I am a Villa fan, and season ticket holder, and I do often go to the Villa reserve matches when they are at Villa park (too far away when at Histon) I can say quite confidently that he is a top player, and as long as he stays on track, unlike a certain future england star striker at the club, then he will have a fantastic future. He is much better than his brother Craig.

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Re: Gary Gardner - Aston Villa's future CM

This kid is absolutely amazing. He's had his injuries but he's still being tracked by the likes of Inter' date=' Liverpool and so on. Top class kid. Probably the best up and coming English midfielder.[/quote']

Really? Better than Wilshere and Mceacheran (sic)? Sounds good if so.

Will he get in ahead of Barry Bannan though? He seems to be the one immediately ahead of him from what I have seen.

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Re: Gary Gardner - Aston Villa's future CM

He's not better than Wilshere, and I don't know enough about Mceachran other than he's come through at Chelsea. Considering he's broke through at 17, I'm guessing he is probably a better prospect than Gardner too. Garnder is better than Bannan, but probably won't get his chance at the first team until next season, considering he hasnt been given a squad number whereas quite a few of our youngsters have. He certainly has the potential to get in the england squad in the future, but that is a way off yet.

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Re: Gary Gardner - Aston Villa's future CM

hmmmm, I never used to. I always thought he was overrated, but when he's come in, he's played well. I don't see him as a regular yet because there are so many players in front of him. But he is on the bench every match so he's not far away. I think he'll play in the league cup match against Burnley, but he'll have to wait for an injury or something to get a full chance in the league.

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Guest Villa888

Re: Gary Gardner - Aston Villa's future CM

Do you rate Bannan though? Do you think he can be a regular at Villa?

100%. Houllier thinks he has a ton of potential will be a future starter.

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Guest Villa888

Re: Gary Gardner - Aston Villa's future CM

He's not better than Wilshere' date=' and I don't know enough about Mceachran other than he's come through at Chelsea. Considering he's broke through at 17, I'm guessing he is probably a better prospect than Gardner too. Garnder is better than Bannan, but probably won't get his chance at the first team until next season, considering he hasnt been given a squad number whereas quite a few of our youngsters have. He certainly has the potential to get in the england squad in the future, but that is a way off yet.[/quote']

Gardner has been injured for quite awhile which is why he doesn't have a squad number. He could have broken through easily over the CM's we have but the injuries kept him out.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Re: Gary Gardner - Aston Villa's future CM

Do you rate Bannan though? Do you think he can be a regular at Villa?
hmmmm' date=' I never used to. I always thought he was overrated, but when he's come in, he's played well. I don't see him as a regular yet because there are so many players in front of him. But he is on the bench every match so he's not far away. I think he'll play in the league cup match against Burnley, but he'll have to wait for an injury or something to get a full chance in the league.[/quote']

We have got injuries, and he has got his chance. He was man of the match against Fulham, and gave us a bit of a spark against Birmingham the week before. I think he does have the potential to be a quality player as he has fit in superbly.

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Re: Gary Gardner - Aston Villa's future CM

Lets be fair here, although he is no where near as good as Wilshere, he could of been making some impact upon the first team this season if he wasnt dealt a horrendous blow with that long term lay off.

He had scored 14 goals and it wasnt even half way through the season, for a CM, you have to appreciate that.

I do not think he is fully fit yet, as he is yet to make a apperance for the reserves this season, struggling to find info on when he could indeed come back, but ill keep my eye out.

I hope by the end of the season, he has regained fitness, strengthened his knee, and is getting his match sharpness back. Who knows if were very lucky we could see a cheeky apperance towards the end of the season.

EDIT: Just found this article, dated from last thursday :D ( Taken from a Villa fanzine forum )

Just a snippet but more than worth making a tiny article out of!

Our very own Revd Pete posted yesterday in our forum about Gary Gardner:

"Just for your information, I have heard today that our superb young prospect has been cleared by his specialist to resume full training. Brilliant news. I'm sure we all wish him well, and soon back to what he loves doing best, playing football!"

Fantastic news, this player is very highly regarded and should be another from a very proud line of youth players making it to the first team.

So hopefully, reserve apperances wont be to long away, and with that i hope he can push his way back into the england setup ( youth level ).

EDIT(2): He has indeed resumed training.

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Re: Gary Gardner - Aston Villa's future CM

Few more statements and articles taken from various websites from the last 18 months, many prior to his injury when he was involved with england U17. Still worth a read and gives you an idea of the esteem he is held in and just get to know him a little more as im sure many of you havent even seen him play.

http://sportdw.blogspot.com

Gary is mentioned as one of the top 10 most promising players who could potentially come through as a future England international.

gardner.jpg

Played for England at U17, U19 and U20 level last season before a cruciate ligament injury ended his season early. The younger brother of Craig Gardner, he was scoring for fun for the Villa academy and reserve teams before his injury, and hopefully he can come back to fulfil the potential that he undoubtedly has.

www.dailymail.co.uk

Teenage Kicks: Four English midfield maestros - Wilshere, Gardner, Bostock and Shelvey - with dreams to take on the world

article-0-04D8B526000005DC-866_468x354.jpg

The article discuss the hopes and aspirations of some of Englands most promising young footballers. [dated 14/05/09]

Gardner goes onto discuss his aspirations, and how he looks up to Steven Gerrard as the perfect player.

Gary also dicusses how he looks up to his older brother Craig ( scum ).

'I look up to Craig a lot. Growing up, I've seen everything he does and I know what you need to be a Premier League player. That's helped me a lot. He always came to watch me and knowing your brother is there watching you makes you play better. I still live at home. Craig's never far away. He comes round almost every day. I've got five brothers all together.'

and discusses the hardship of attempting to become a professional footballer at an age when you should be doing other things.

Your mates say, "come out, we're going clubbing". And you have to say no. It's hard but if you want to get to the top, it's what you've got to do.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1181388/Teenage-Kicks-Four-English-midfield-maestros--Wilshere-Gardner-Bostock-Shelvey--dreams-world.html#ixzz14ogyDg2l

images%3Fq%3Dgary%2Bgardner%2Bengland%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26biw%3D1366%26bih%3D575%26gbv%3D2%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=208&ei=jqHZTMbREoK6hAfGqaDPAg&oei=jqHZTMbREoK6hAfGqaDPAg&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=22&ved=1t:429,r:10,s:0&tx=87&ty=82

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  • 4 weeks later...

Re: Gary Gardner - Aston Villa's future CM

He's just signed a new 4 year contract at villa.

Gary Gardner says his heart is set on forging a successful career at Villa after penning a new deal to keep him at the club until 2014.

The 18-year-old midfielder has proved himself as one of the club's most exciting talents' date=' with his exceptional displays at reserves and youth levels.

The new contract comes as a timely boost for Gardner, who is just a couple of weeks away from returning to action after suffering a cruciate ligament injury midway through last season.

He revealed his delight at extending his stay at Villa and hopes to join the ever-growing list of Academy stars to graduate to the first team.

"I set my heart on playing for Villa a long time ago and words can't describe how I feel. It's unbelievable," said Gardner.

"The likes of Marc Albrighton, Ciaran Clark, Barry Bannan, Eric Lichaj and Chris Herd have all played in the first team this season and I remember my brother, Craig, Gary Cahill, Peter Whittingham and Gabby Agbonlahor all breaking through from the Academy.

"This makes you realise what's possible to achieve and I want to push on and work even harder to try to follow some of those lads.

"I've been at Villa since I was six years old and my focus is on continuing to improve and continuing to progress."

Gardner captained Villa's U18s in the early part of 2009-10 and scored 14 goals, before injury prematurely ended his season.

His terrific goalscoring spell included a hat-trick in the FA Youth Cup third round against Rochdale and a stunning long-range effort in the next round at West Bromwich Albion.

The Solihull-born youngster has also received international recognition. In 2009, Gardner achieved the unusual feat of featuring in three different England squads, when he received call-ups for U17 European Championships, the U20 World Cup and the Three Lions U19 set-up.

His progression through the ranks at Villa saw him make a string of appearances for the highly-successful reserves side and last October he scored for the second string against Wolves after being set up by his brother Craig.

He also gained valuable experience with the first team by joining the senior squad for their Peace Cup triumph in Spain in summer 2009. Gardner hopes to make his comeback in the coming weeks, after returning to training four weeks ago.

Manager Gerard Houllier recently admitted he is looking forward to seeing Gardner in action after hearing rave reviews.

"Gary is a young player with potential and a desire to succeed and the contract he has just signed is a sign that we trust him to be a player for the future," said the Villa boss.

"We're delighted that Gary has joined players such as Marc Albrighton, Barry Bannan and Ciaran Clark who have all signed new deals recently and we are encouraged by their progression."

Check out Gary Gardner's magnificent hat-trick against Rochdale in last season's FA Youth Cup by watching the video above.[/quote']

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  • 1 month later...

Re: Gary Gardner - Aston Villa's future CM

The return of Gary Gardner to football

Football_-_Premier__429524t.jpg

After resuming training in early november, last night Gary Gardner played his first game in around a year against Arsenal reserves.

The Villa reserves emphatically beat Arsenal 10-1. With Gary having a more than influential role.

Gary got the first goal of the game after capiltalising on a poor clearance, launching the ball into the goal from long range. Gardner also linked up well with Delfounso before setting up Weimann for Villa's second.

Gary contributed yet again, this time for the fourth goal, taking the corner which Villa indirectly scored off after Baker knocked it down for Hogg to smash in.

Gardner got his second just before half time, slotting home a penalty.

A fantastic return to football for the youngster, who i have no doubts will be a top, top player.

Match report.

http://www.avfc.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10265~2263322,00.html

Picture Gallery of the game.

http://www.avfc.co.uk/page/Gallery/0,,10265~2263356,00.html

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Re: Gary Gardner - Aston Villa's future CM

Taken from www.avfc.co.uk

Gary Gardner is ready to put his injury hell behind him and show Gerard Houllier how "dedicated and determined" he is to make an impact with Villa - after making a sensational return in the reserve team's 10-1 win over Arsenal.

The England U20 star, who spent a year on the sidelines with a cruciate knee ligament injury, scored twice in his comeback for the second string as Kevin MacDonald's side ran riot against the Gunners at Hinckley on Monday night.

After featuring as a substitute for the U18s in a 3-0 win over Blues last week, Gardner started his first game for 12 months as Villa demolished their title rivals to top the reserve league's Southern Group.

The 18-year-old midfield ace insists the experience of being injured has opened his eyes to the incredible opportunity he has.

Houllier has spoken highly of the former youth team captain, saying he has been receiving rave reviews from his coaching staff.

Gardner recently committed his future to Villa by signing a new long-term contract and is determined to repay that faith in the coming months.

He told AVTV: "When you hear the gaffer speaking highly of you, you feel really wanted.

"I just want to show him now what I have got. I want to show how him dedicated and determined I am to play for him.

"I will give him 100 per cent. I want to get into his plans.

"I am just really happy now I'm back. I have been out for around 12 months but over the last few weeks I've been back training and signed a new deal.

"I am over the moon with how it's gone. I am really happy with that, trust me.

"Since I have been out I have learnt a lot from being injured - how to appreciate the game more and even going out to training you appreciate it more. You miss the game. You really do. I have learnt a lot.

"I am back now and my knee feels good, it feels strong as it's ever done. I just want to work hard, play good football and catch the manager's eye."

Gardner, who has been at the club since the tender age of six, paid tribute to the work of the academy system which has brought through so many talented players.

Barry Bannan, Marc Albrighton, Eric Lichaj, Jonathan Hogg and Ciaran Clark are among those to make it into the first team and Gardner is determined to follow in their footsteps.

He added: "I love it here at Villa. I've loved every minute of it. I have been here 11 years and I haven't regretted a moment of it. I love it here.

"The staff are really good. They have bought so many young lads through. I can't give them enough praise - they are absolutely unbelievable.

"They have all done a class job. They are always right. Even when you think they are wrong they are right. I listen to every single one of them.

"Every one of us lads who have made it through the system feel immense pride to be part of it.

"We are proud to play for Villa and seeing all the young lions coming through together.

"You can see it and you want to be part of it. It's a good opportunity for the lads here. It's not just a one-off - there's four, five or six of them. It's really good.

"It's a massive incentive to follow in the footsteps of Marc, Barry and Ciaran. I played with them last season in the reserves and now they are impressing in the first team. I want to follow that."

If he continues to impress and regain match fitness / sharpness im 100% sure he will make the step up this season.

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  • 5 months later...

Re: Gary Gardner - Aston Villa's future CM

Gary has made the Villa home page recently in a article entitled: One to watch.

Covers alot of what has already been said. Although it does mention he is considered to be the most exciting talent in the Villa academy !

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Gary Gardner

Age: 18

Nationality: English

Position: Central midfield

2010-11 highlight: Starring role in reserves' 10-1 win over Arsenal

Quote: "I am back now and my knee feels as strong as it's ever done. I just want to work hard, play good football and catch the manager's eye."

Gary Gardner had to wait a long time for his season to get going - but the highly-rated midfielder crammed plenty in to the final five months.

An anterior cruciate ligament [ACL] injury sustained in December 2009 brought Gardner's rapid progress to a standstill.

But, when the younger brother of former Villa star Craig was ready to return, he made a stunning comeback.

The Solihull-born ace's first official appearance of 2010-11 came as a substitute in a 3-0 win over Birmingham City in the Barclays Premier Academy League on January 8 - though Gardner well and truly announced he was back 48 hours later on an astonishing evening in Hinckley.

It was Gardner who set the ball rolling for Villa reserves' stunning 10-1 demolition of Arsenal, firstly catching out Gunners goalkeeper James Shea to break the deadlock before scoring another from the penalty spot and supplying the ammunition for Andreas Weimann and Jonathan Hogg strikes.

He netted three more times for the second string in the final stages of the season - against Wolves, Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion - as well as twice for the U18s against Leicester and Reading.

Arguably the most coveted of Villa's Academy starlets, Gardner's stock has risen in the eyes of the first team coaching staff.

In fact, the midfielder spent the last few weeks of the season with the first team squad where he trained alongside the club's established stars on a daily basis and earned a place in the travelling party for several top-flight games.

International recognition came Gardner's way in March when he represented England U19s in a 3-0 friendly defeat against Holland.

I also read an article, and agree with it which says his style is similar to that of Jack Wilshere, coincidentally they both played regularly with each other in the youth setup for england.

I cannot wait to see him play for the first team this season, its definitely coming. I seriously believe if he didnt get that serious injury two seasons ago he would of made his first team debut already

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  • 4 months later...

Re: Gary Gardner - The future of Aston Villa's midfield.

I was planning to write this much much earlier than I have but, better late than never.

For a start, Gary Gardner is now on SM database ( in game profile details below )

Name: Gary Gardner

Position: CM

Rating: 75

Real Club: Aston Villa

Age: 19

Player Value: 350 k

You can chose yourselves if he is worth the gamble ( read the thread if you havent before ) but id say you would be very very stupid if you had the chance to buy him and didnt.

Recently Aston Villa's assistant manager Peter Grant has came out and spoke to the press about the clubs young prodigy.

Aston Villa assistant boss Peter Grant believes Gary Gardner will have a 'big part' to play for the club before the end of the season.

The 19-year-old central midfielder faces a tough test to break into the starting line-up behind Jermaine Jenas, Stiliyan Petrov, Chris Herd, Stephen Ireland, Fabian Delph and Barry Bannan.

However, Grant insists it will not be long before Gardner, the younger brother of former Villa midfielder Craig, will make the step up from the bench where he has started three times this season.

"We feel he'll have a big part to play for us soon, absolutely no doubt about that," Grant told the club's official website.

"He's a talented boy. Going through this period in December and from Christmas onwards we feel he's got the talent to be part of things.

"His performances with the reserves have been excellent, he's a fantastic professional and he will get a chance because his talent will dictate that and we're all looking forward to working with him."

This statement from the club came before England U21 game against Iceland. Gary after losing a year of his development due to an ACL injury was only making his 3rd or 4th England U21 cap after playing regularly at lower age groups.

He didnt start the game against Iceland, instead he was brought on in the 61st minute. And boy did the lad show his quality.

Gary scored a brilliantly taken free kick, followed by a smart finish from just outside the box. His goals can be seen from 5 minutes and 10 seconds on the video on the link below. ( sorry i couldn't embed it..... the video is actually highlights from the whole game so worth a watch ).

Gary was also involved in Englands game against Belgium.

His goals and performance last week have put in him in spotlight, somewhere, he would of been last season if it wasnt due to his injury. Its coming together for him and hopefully he will get some minutes this season. Alot of the competition he has for CM wont be at Villa Park for to long, petrov is aging, Ireland wont stick around and Jenas is on loan. His natural talent and potential from what iv watched and read about him far exceeds any of the players mentioned above. We have a real gem on our hands, and us Villa fans have long had an eye on him.

The lad is gonna be big hit.... I promise :)

_50292739_garygardner.jpg

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Re: Gary Gardner - The future of Aston Villa's midfield.

I was planning to write this much much earlier than I have but' date=' better late than never.

For a start, Gary Gardner is now on SM database ( in game profile details below )

Name: Gary Gardner

Position: CM

Rating: 75

Real Club: Aston Villa

Age: 19

Player Value: 350 k

You can chose yourselves if he is worth the gamble ( read the thread if you havent before ) but id say you would be very very stupid if you had the chance to buy him and didnt.

Recently Aston Villa's assistant manager Peter Grant has came out and spoke to the press about the clubs young prodigy.

[b'][/b]

This statement from the club came before England U21 game against Iceland. Gary after losing a year of his development due to an ACL injury was only making his 3rd or 4th England U21 cap after playing regularly at lower age groups.

He didnt start the game against Iceland, instead he was brought on in the 61st minute. And boy did the lad show his quality.

Gary scored a brilliantly taken free kick, followed by a smart finish from just outside the box. His goals can be seen from 5 minutes and 10 seconds on the video on the link below. ( sorry i couldn't embed it..... the video is actually highlights from the whole game so worth a watch ).

Gary was also involved in Englands game against Belgium.

His goals and performance last week have put in him in spotlight, somewhere, he would of been last season if it wasnt due to his injury. Its coming together for him and hopefully he will get some minutes this season. Alot of the competition he has for CM wont be at Villa Park for to long, petrov is aging, Ireland wont stick around and Jenas is on loan. His natural talent and potential from what iv watched and read about him far exceeds any of the players mentioned above. We have a real gem on our hands, and us Villa fans have long had an eye on him.

The lad is gonna be big hit.... I promise :)

_50292739_garygardner.jpg

Defo Agree this guy will be a hit :).

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Re: Gary Gardner - The future of Aston Villa's midfield.

Article taken from BBC.

Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner says he is delighted to have played a major role in Stuart Pearce's England Under-21 side over the past week.

Gardner, 19, scored twice after coming off the bench in the 5-0 win over Iceland at Colchester.

"I was buzzing to get on for the last half hour and to score two goals means a lot to me," Gardner told BBC WM.

"We went away to Belgium and played them off the park, but they won 2-1 - at home we'll batter them."

The Birmingham-born teenager is looking to follow in the footsteps of his older brother Craig, who now plays for Sunderland.

He was 19 when he made his Villa first-team debut - an opportunity that has yet to be offered Gary.

He has been catching the eye of manager Alex McLeish with his performances in the NextGen series where Villa's under-19s are rubbing shoulders with the best in Europe.

Next Tuesday they take on Ajax at Villa Park for a place in the knockout stages, and Gardner thinks it is a great experience.

"I think if we win that we'll win the group, and to play in a European quarter-final for young lads - who wouldn't want to play in that?," he noted. "If we can beat Ajax we can hopefully go far.

"That bit of playing in Europe and going away from home - I think it's a massive experience, especially for the young lads here. I think they're coping with it very well."

He aint to shabby at FIFA 12 either :P

http://www.avfc.co.uk/page/BlogsEntry/0,,10265~2502483,00.html

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