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Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, on loan from Villa at Cambridge United until the end of the season, has scored his first goal in professional football.
The 20 year old Birmingham born striker bursts beyond the Grimsby defence before finishing an effort across the keeper from a narrowing angle:
Whilst Hepburn-Murphy has been on the periphery of the Villa squad for a few years, injuries have plagued his development.
This, combined with Villa’s general decline, changing regimes and purchasing policies with regards to strikers (£££) have seen question marks emerge around his long term future. This was polarised particularly by the emergence of Keinan Davies, who arguably looks a more first team ready player.
Whilst the academy has its rightful critics, there remain many who are hopeful that Hepburn-Murphy can kick-on whilst on loan, with a view to competing for a spot in the Villa first team.
Most would agree that regular first team senior football is essential for youth development, of which a first goal, is obviously a positive sign.