Dean Smith: Aston Villa are wary of Aaron Connolly

Villa manager says Brighton and Ireland striker is ‘a player with huge potential’

Aaron Connolly in action during Ireland’s defeat to Switzerland. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Aaron Connolly in action during Ireland’s defeat to Switzerland. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith is wary of teenage striker Aaron Connolly ahead of Brighton’s visit to the midlands on Saturday afternoon.

Connolly exploded on to the scene before the international break as he marked his first Premier League start with a stunning double in Albion’s 3-0 victory over Tottenham.

The 19-year-old, who made his Republic of Ireland debut against Georgia last week, was already on Smith’s radar, having led the line for an hour in Brighton’s defeat by Villa in the Carabao Cup third round.

Smith said: “We’ll have to watch out for him. He played in the Carabao Cup game as well against us, so we’ve seen him firsthand.

“He’s a player with huge potential, he’s certainly hit the ground running with his first start and two goals against the Champions League finalists.

“Our defenders will know enough about him certainly for the game on Saturday.”

Last month’s meeting between the sides saw both Smith and Brighton counterpart Graham Potter make wholesale changes, so the Villa boss does not anticipate the result to have any bearing on this weekend’s contest.

Smith said: “Hopefully the outcome will be the same but we changed nine players for that game and they changed 11. It will be a different set of players that are playing against each other.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.