The young Villans scared their visitors at times, and even went into half time drawing 1-1. Despite the eventual 4-1 scoreline, Villa’s youngsters can be immensely proud of the performance they put in against the English champions.
One of the stand outs in that young Villa side was 21-year old left back Callum Rowe, who was handed the not-so-light task of keeping Mohamed Salah quiet throughout. For the most part, Rowe succeeded in his duty while showing other, more threatening qualities, bagging a beautiful assist for the Villa equaliser. The full-back put in a shift that no doubt puts him in the ‘one for the future’ conversation, and here are some things to know about him.
Rowe got the assist for Aston Villa as Louie Barry slotted home to equalise against Liverpool on Friday night, with what can only be described as a perfectly timed and weighted through ball.
The full-back’s pass completion rate doesn’t suggest anything but a good passer of the ball either, with an 85% pass accuracy in the Premier League 2 this campaign.
Defending against Salah is not an easy task – for anyone. On your senior debut, in a team full of youngsters, a spectator might expect the worst. But Rowe defied expectation and stuck to his task well, keeping the Egyptian quiet in general.
The full back has seven interceptions, three clearances and 14 won duels to his name in just 203 minutes of Premier League 2 football as well – impressive stats.
Rowe has been a part of Aston Villa’s Under-23 squad since the 16/17 campaign and, in 2018, lifted the Premier League Cup trophy.
Rowe and his teammates – including the likes of Callum O’Hare and Jacob Ramsey – were victorious over Swansea in the final, which was eventually decided 3-1 on penalties.
The visit of Liverpool was not the first time Rowe has faced senior opposition in his career.
The full back has been a feature for Aston Villa Under-23s in the EFL Trophy for the past two seasons. Rowe played every minute of both of Villa’s EFL Trophy games last season, unfortunately twice ending on the losing side against Salford and Tranmere.
This season, after returning from injury, Rowe started for the side in their EFL Trophy clash with Carlisle, again ending in defeat.
Injuries can often be the downfall for a young player’s bright future. However, Rowe has come back fitter and stronger from a serious knee injury he suffered in late 2019.
The Villa man was kept out of action for 11 months and only came back to fitness in mid-October – safe to say it hasn’t slowed him down.
Well, we saw it against Liverpool. Calm on the ball, a solid player and definitely capable of picking out a team mate. All qualities that have allowed Rowe to add versatility as one of his qualities.
The 21-year old has played as a central midfielder and left midfielder in his career. There’s no doubt he’s a left-back at heart though – only one of his four assists in his career has come when not on the left of the back four.
Rowe has had a FIFA card since FIFA 20, but he might have cause for complaint. The full back is actually listed as a central midfielder in the game, with an overall rating of 52 – ouch.
One positive is that he has a potential rating of 65 on career mode, giving him an increase of 13. Not bad, but after Friday night’s showing, FIFA may want to think twice for their ratings in the next update.