Rushian Hepburn-Murphy has joined League Two side Cambridge United on loan until the end of the season.
The striker, 20, has linked up with former Aston Villa assistant manager Colin Calderwood, who is now boss of the U’s.
Hepburn-Murphy was heavily involved with the first team in the opening weeks of the season under Steve Bruce but has dropped back down to the under-23s since Dean Smith took charge in October.
Hepburn-Murphy shot to prominence as a 16-year-old in making his Premier League debut against Sunderland in 2015.
Injuries have curtailed his progress since, though, and he’s made just 17 senior appearances for Villa to date.
He’ll now enjoy the first loan spell of his career at Cambridge.
Hepburn-Murphy is likely to be joined further down the EFL by some of his U23 teammates with Smith keen for them to gain experience.
Speaking recently, Smith told us: “These under-23s need to go and play men’s football. They come back better players and better people.
“They go out and see the real world playing alongside some seasoned professionals who rely on winning games for bonuses.
“Going out on loan to me is something that’s really important for their development and it’s something that we’re keen to do.”
Source : BirminghamMail