AVTV Player Report: Miguel Marques
Aston Villa's Miguel Marques
is a young Portuguese 19-year-old who can play at both defensive midfield and central midfield, and to a certain extent, a central defender. Currently a Portugal Under-21 international, Marques has a bright footballing future ahead of him and although commonly plays for the Reserves and Under-18s, has been constantly used as a substitute in the senior team's Premier League campaign this season.
Marques began his career at Atletico CP, who play in the second division of the Portuguese football league. Recognized as one of the best footballing talents Atletico has produced in recent years, he soon attracted the interest of various European clubs with his superb showings in the Atletico Reserves and Under-18s squad.
Aston Villa eventually won the race to sign Marques and with Atletico in debt, allowed their best talent to make the trip to England for a fee of just 90k. Marques linked up with Villa in August 2013 and was quickly promoted to the first-team for a debut match against Cardiff City that unfortunately ended in a 1-0 loss.
Although officially registered in Villa's Premier League squad that season, Marques more frequently turned out for the Aston Villa Reserves and Under-18s, and enjoyed much success at youth level. He ended his first season at Villa Park with 3 league appearances.
By the next season, Marques was promoted from the Under-18s to a full-time Reserve player after his superb showings in the Under-18s league and became a Reserve league sensation under Villa Reserves manager Gordon Cowans
. He was soon joined by Portuguese compatriot Luis Goncalves in August 2014, who came in from Vitor Setubal.
The two Portuguese youngsters soon forged an understanding in the Villa Reserves midfield that stormed the Reserves league.
On the side of the senior team, Marques finished the 2014/15 season with 6 Premier League appearances, an improvement from last season's 3.
Marques has been constantly used as a bench player and has made 8 league appearances so far this season. He was also involved in the 7-3 aggregate thrashing of Spanish side Valencia in the Europa League.
It is safe to say that Marques will not be leaving Aston Villa any time soon, and if anything, will soon be becoming a first-team player of the club with his vast improvements.