Skipper Gareth Barry believes Aston Villa’s youngsters will continue to make an impact in the Premier League next season - whoever Martin O’Neill brings in to bolster the squad.
Barry was hugely impressed with the rookies given their chance by O’Neill last season and is confident the likes of Gabriel Agbonlahor will further develop during the 2007-2008 campaign.
O’Neill is currently attempting to add to his squad but Barry is sure the youngsters will rise to the challenge of increased competition for places.
He told Villa’s official website: "We’ve got a young squad that can only get better. Last season loads of the young players played important parts throughout the season.
"Gabby Agbonlahor, Gary Cahill, Liam Ridgewell, Ashley Young, Luke Moore, Craig Gardner, Steven Davis and Isaiah Osbourne are all really young and they’ve already played some important games in the Premier League.
"The young players did really well last season. People like Gabby and Craig Gardner at the end of the season showed a lot of promise for the seasons to come.
"The manager has shown a lot of faith in them and you can see why, can’t you? They didn’t look out of place in the Premier League and that’s credit to the academy."
Barry added: "The manager will always look to strengthen the squad and that’s what we need - but that doesn’t mean the young players won’t still come through.
"If they can learn from the senior players - people like John Carew, Patrik Berger and Stiliyan Petrov - they can become even better players."