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Aston Villa to sign midfield ace Tim Iroegbunam from West Brom

Aston Villa are set to sign highly-rated teenage star Tim Iroegbunam, West Bromwich Albion’s academy player of the year.

The midfielder, from Great Barr, has been at Albion since under-8s while, last season, he was promoted to the first-team for West Brom’s final match of the season against Leeds United at Elland Road.

Iroegbunam was fast-tracked to the under-23s last term and made 40 appearances in total, scoring four and assisting four while helping Albion to the FA Youth Cup semi-final before playing the full 90 minutes in the defeat to Villa at Villa Park.

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The 18-year-old, described as “combative and all-action” by Albion coaches, will look to link up with former teammate Louie Barry at Villa with the pair remaining close friends off the pitch.

Iroegbunam was scouted for West Brom alongside Barry while the pair played for Sutton Town, with the duo picked up by Steve Hopcroft, Villa’s head of talent identification after his switch from West Brom last year.

Iroegbunam, who’s spent time with England at under-15 level, is also well-known to Villa’s head of academy, Mark Harrison, following his spell at The Hawthorns.

A description of the central midfielder reads: “Iroegbunam operates from the middle of the field and never shies away from a tackle, with his forward-thinking mentality a key element in his combative approach to games.

“Over the 2020/21 season, Tim was introduced to a variety of beneficial experiences in his development. In addition to his defensive attributes, Iroegbunam has added goals to his game.

“The midfielder netted a long-range screamer against Cardiff City in the FA Youth Cup, before a smart finish in the following round against Tottenham helped Albion take control of the game and, as a result, reach the last-eight of the competition.

Albion under-18s boss Peter Gilbert said of Iroegbunam: “He’s an important character, a tough-tackler and, overall, an all-action midfield player who’s started to add goals to his game.”

BirminghamLive has been told that Iroegbunam has turned down a new and improved contract at The Hawthorns in favour of moving to Villa Park.

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