Aston Villa: Sil Swinkels may be future gem

Aston Villa succumbed to second straight defeat in the Premier League as Unai Emery’s side were beaten 3-1 by reigning champions Manchester City on Sunday.

Tyrone Mings was absent from the matchday squad after picking up a minor knock, but he should return before the next match.

Calum Chambers was brought in to take his compatriot’s place at the heart of defence, with Diego Carlos also missing against Pep Guardiola’s side. However, the ex-Arsenal man recorded a dismal Sofascore rating of 5.7, making one error leading directly to a goal and failing to win a single duel in 90 minutes.

He attempted to clear the ball away with a header after chasing a Kevin De Bruyne pass back towards his own goal but failed to get enough distance on his effort, and Erling Haaland pounced to pick the ball up inside the box before rolling it across to Ilkay Gundogan to score.

The injuries to the experienced options at the back meant that academy centre-back Sil Swinkels was handed an opportunity to be a part of the matchday squad, although the Dutchman was an unused substitute in Manchester.

Who is Sil Swinkels?

The 19-year-old enforcer is a regular for the club’s U21 side and an international youth player for his country, and he could be Emery’s long-term successor to their current first-choice centre-back in Mings.

Read the latest Aston Villa transfer rumours and news!

Journalist Ashley Preece once described Swinkels as the “star man” for Villa’s youth side, and that is what he could be for Emery if he fulfils his potential and becomes a regular in the senior team.

The teenager, who has played 28 times for the U21s, made his debut for the first-team against Liverpool in the FA Cup in 2021 and has shown plenty of promise for the academy.

In the EFL Trophy last season, playing against Football League opposition, Swinkels made four appearances and averaged 2.5 tackles and interceptions and 5.8 clearances per game whilst winning 65% of his duels.

These statistics show that the Dutch giant is a dominant defender with good positioning – much like Mings, who has won 56% of his duels and made 4.2 clearances per match in the Premier League this season – although the teenager must now prove his quality on a consistent basis if he gets into the first-team.

Is Sil Swinkels a future star?





The 6 foot 3 colossus has also been capped by the Netherlands at U15 and U18 level, which suggests that he is rated highly in his own country’s youth setup.

Emery’s decision to bring him into the senior squad on Sunday also indicates that the Spaniard rates the teenager and would have been willing to bring him onto the pitch if required.

Therefore, Swinkels could be a future star for Villa if he can fulfill his potential and continue his development in the coming years, and also possibly the long-term heir to Mings’ position at centre-back, with the latter turning 30 next month.