Samir Carruthers

Samir Carruthers

Samir Carruthers is currently on loan at MK Dons.

He lifted a European trophy as Villa skipper in April 2013 after captaining the U19 side to NextGen Series glory.

Carruthers had been a key performer in the run to the finals weekend, which took place in Lake Como over the Easter period.

His goal in the 2-1 win over Celtic at Villa Park back in September kickstarted Villa's campaign in the prestigious European competition.

It was at the finals weekend, though, that Carruthers' maturity and leadship skills shone through.

He scored in extra-time during an epic semi-final against Sporting as Villa won 3-1, then four days later he proudly held the trophy aloft as Tony McAndrew's team conquered Chelsea to become kings of Europe.

As well as starring on the European stage, Carruthers played 18 times for Villa's U21s, scoring two goals.

The previous season saw the Republic of Ireland U21 international get his first taste of senior action with three cameo appearances in the Barclays Premier League.

He made a big impression in brief top-flight outings against Liverpool, Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion.

Carruthers, who swapped Arsenal for Villa as a schoolboy, worked his way up through the club's ranks before making his big breakthrough in the 1-1 draw at Anfield in April 2012.

He had already enjoyed an excellent season in the reserve league and the NextGen Series.

Carruthers was pivotal to the second string's Barclays Premier Reserve League South title success in 2011-12 - his finest moments being a superb half-volley in a 3-1 win over Bolton and a further strike as Villa defeated his former club Arsenal 2-0.

The Islington-born ace also scored Villa's first goal in the inaugural NextGen Series, stretching to convert a long ball from Gary Gardner in the 4-0 win over Fenerbahce at Villa Park.

The 2010-11 season saw Carruthers add goals and versatility to his armoury.

He notched double figures in all competitions and demonstrated his ability to operate in several positions.

During his first year with the Academy, Carruthers plied his trade in central midfield or as a wide man and was one of the standout figures as Villa reached the FA Youth Cup final.

But coach Tony McAndrew spotted potential in the teenager as a second striker - a role he carried out with aplomb in youth league and cup competitions during 2010-11.

Carruthers also made massive strides with Kevin MacDonald's reserve team, scoring four goals in 11 appearances.

The pick of the bunch was undoubtedly a bullet long-range effort at Chelsea as the second string ended the campaign with a 2-1 defeat.

But Carruthers' personal highlight was a 2-0 victory over the Gunners at London Colney in November when he converted a headed strike against his former club as well as being at the heart of a mesmeric passing sequence to set up Nathan Delfouneso.

The goalscoring exploits didn't end there - Carruthers netted six times for the U18s en route to the Barclays Premier Academy League Group B title.

He penned his first professional contract in May 2011.

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