Cameron Archer is making a real name for himself this season. The 19-year-old isn’t coming off the back of a prolific campaign in 2020/21, but he’s been on fire in recent months and was rewarded with senior level appearances by Dean Smith.
As Archer’s stock rises, Wesley Moraes’ falls. The 24-year-old hasn’t been prolific in Aston Villa colours and spent 15 months out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Wesley was loaned out to Club Brugge over the summer to get first-team football, but he’s been on the periphery in Belgium.
Kevin Phillips believes Wesley might be moved on as Archer’s impressive rise to prominence continues. He told Football Insider: “Looking at Archer’s progression and form, you would have to say Wesley might have to leave if (he) wants to play football.
“That is what you want. You want your young players to step up and Archer has done that. He has taken his chance with both hands. These young kids are full of confidence these days. It is great to see. Archer is a confident player who believes in his own ability.
“In my opinion, he has leapfrogged Wesley. I’d have him third behind (Ollie) Watkins and (Danny) Ings. If you do not keep progressing and performing, someone will take your place. That has certainly been the case with these players.”
Phillips isn’t wrong. Wesley has scored just six goals in 26 games since joining Villa from Brugge in 2019 and has return to the Jan Breydel Stadium hasn’t gone to plan either. He’s amassed 18 minutes from a possible 180 in the Champions League and has played 56 minutes from 450 in the First Division A.
Wesley isn’t proving his worth to any visiting scouts, so his future at Villa Park might be up in the air. Archer does look a safer bet given he’s scored four goals in two EFL Cup games and bagged four in two EFL Trophy matches, so Phillips’ assessment seems accurate.