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If Liverpool’s scouts were tuned into England U21s’ thumping 4-0 win over France on Saturday, they would have seen the perfect alternative to Jude Bellingham. In Aston Villa starlet Aaron Ramsey, the Reds would have a much cheaper version of the in-demand Borussia Dortmund talent, and a player who is loved by club icon Steven Gerrard. 

Ramsey’s development at Villa has gone slightly under the radar. A midfielder whose driving runs from the middle of the park are one of his strongest qualities, he possesses similar traits to Bellingham. The 21-year-old is a tough tackler, passes well and has an eye for goal. 

The latter point was proven in England U21s’ huge win over France. Driving forward from midfield, Ramsey broke the offside trap and slotted under the goalkeeper with his weaker left foot. 

With Liverpool desperate for fresh energy in midfield, Ramsey could be an excellent alternative to Bellingham should the Reds miss out on the England ace to Real Madrid. Ramsey is valued on transfermarkt at just £28million, compared to the £97m it values Bellingham. A fee for the latter is likely to exceed £100m, though. 

“Yes, yes [I’m pleased]. Jacob Ramsey is young, improving. He’s from Birmingham, the academy. I think potentially he is a strong player in our squad who can progress a lot,” Unai Emery recently said of Villa’s brightest prospect.

“He made a very good step ahead, taking confidence, scoring his goal and trying to use his characteristic in the position we are putting him – driving, driving, breaking the lines defensively. I think he did that but in the last matches we have played he didn’t get his performances completely happy. Today he did it.”

Another huge fan of Ramsey is none other than Liverpool legend Gerrard, who coached the youngster during his stint as Villa boss. Gerrard often played down similarities between the pair – but insisted that his young protege could play for England. 

“I know the level of the England players, I’ve been around it, and have enough experience to know it’s only a matter of time but let’s all be sensible and keep calm about it.