Daniel Johnson is the latest academy player to leave Aston Villa. Johnson has joined Preston on a two-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee. Johnson was part of the Villa youth team that won the NextGen cup, and was hailed by Gerard Houllier as ‘a future Aston Villa captain’.
Unfortunately his Villa career has taken off under Lambert and failed to make any appearances for Villa, but did sit on the bench for 6 games 2011-12. Since then Johnson went out on loan to Yeovil, Chesterfield and Oldham. From reports, it sounded as though Johnson was developing into a talented footballer. He was a talented dribbler, able to make a key pass and good on both feet.
Lilywhites manager Simon Grayson said: “We first came across Daniel over a year ago and we thought about signing him last January and have kept our eyes on him ever since.
“We had him watched numerous times when he was on loan at Chesterfield and Oldham and decided we wanted to bring him here and we were delighted he was desperate to come to us.
“There were lots of other clubs who wanted to sign him, but we had the backing of the owner to go out and spend money to secure his services. We feel he is a player who can only get better and will add something different in our midfield options.
I’m a little disappointed that Johnson wasn’t even given a chance to start a single cup or league game. But that seems to be the recent story behind Villa’s youth players, many aren’t even given the chance at first team football.