Jamie Carragher believes Aston Villa star Jacob Ramsey is close to being Champions League ready after the midfielder’s match-winning display on Friday night.
Ramsey scored the only goal of the game for Steven Gerrard’s side as they collected all three points in a scrappy game against Southampton at Villa Park.
Carragher, who described the game as “awful” during his commentary on Sky Sports, was impressed once again by Ramsey and revealed a conversation he had with Villa assistant Gary McAllister, who is convinced the 21-year-old “can go right to the top”.
“I love him,” Carragher said of Ramsey. “He’s a super player. He doesn’t look like a young kid playing in a man’s game. When you think of the game against Man City, I thought it was interesting that he played as part of the front three, and tonight he played in midfield.
“I spoke to Gary McAllister before the game, I said to him: ‘How good is Ramsey?’ And he said he can go right to the top. We’re talking about international honours and playing in the Champions League. I think he can certainly play at that level in the next couple of years.”
This win on Friday night lifts Gerrard’s side up to 13th in the table as they are now level on seven points with the Saints.
The Villa boss admitted post-match that his side’s performance “wasn’t pretty or stylish” but they won “in a pragmatic way”:
“It’s a big victory. It wasn’t pretty or stylish but, with where we were in the league, we knew we had to do it in a pragmatic way,” Gerrard said.
“I’m really proud of the boys’ effort, application and commitment.
“We played better than we did last time. In football, you have to grind and fight and be committed and we worked hard today.
“We will get better in terms of style and possession and that will come but tonight was about the points.
“We had to back up our performance against Manchester City and there were a lot of eyes on us from the TV but we did it.”
On Villa’s clean sheet: “It’s how you build consistency by defending your box well. I’ve been critical about this group and the detailing of defending at times but today there were a lot of bodies on the line today.
“Maybe we tried to force it a bit tonight but as we move up the table maybe that’s when the pretty stuff will come.
“It has been a tough period but I’ve wanted to step forward and protect my players. I’ve tried to fight and move up this table.
“We have accepted a lot of criticism and it’s about reacting and that is what we have done tonight.”