Niall Mason signed for Villa following a successful trial in June 2015 and established himself as a regular figure in the U21 backline.
He enjoyed a fruitful 2015/16, netting the winner against Fulham in January and was called up to the senior matchday squad for Villa's match at West Ham a week later.
As a junior, he played for Al Sadd juniors when his parents moved over to Qatar and also honed his skills at the Doha-based Evolution Soccer Academy soon after.
Born in Lancashire, Mason got his break in the youth system at Blackburn Rovers when he returned from the Middle East.
Southampton spotted his talent and signed him up but a move to Villa came about as he decided to leave St Mary's.
Comfortable playing anywhere across the back or in midfield, 18-year-old Mason will be hoping to make an impact in his first full campaign.