You signed for for Aston Villa in 2019.How are you enjoying your time at the club so far and how would you describe a club such as Aston Villa?
I am really enjoying myself at Aston Villa.I am really enjoying what I have achieved in such a short space of time.When I arrived at the club Aston Villa had one goal and that was to gain promotion to the Premier League from the Championship and to say that I have helped the club to achieve that goal already during my time here especially where we were in the league when I joined gives me a feeling of great pride to have played a part in getting Aston Villa promotes back to the Premier League. I am really enjoying my time here and long may it continue.
You spent time as a scholar and went on to make first team appearances for Wycombe Wanderers. How do you look back on your time at the club and do you have any highlights or special memories?
I signed as a scholar at Wycombe Wanderers and the club went into administration and they offered four players from the youth team professional contracts and luckily I was one of them. The club subsequently had to get rid of their academy and the youth team so everyone was released and moved on and I was one of the lucky four to get a professional contact at 17 years old. I was then training and being involved with the first team and I owe a massive thanks to Gary Waddock who gave me my debut away to Crewe Alexandra on the FA Cup and I found my feet very quickly and I began to kick on from there.
To play the rest of the season as a 17 year old and then the first half of the following season so you can imagine as an 18 year old playing in League Two is going to attract interest from bigger clubs and that was when Wolverhampton Wanderers came in for me and brought me I really enjoyed my time at Wycombe Wanderers I was there with at lot of close friends who I am still in contact with and we trained hard and spent time together and it was a good laugh both on and off the pitch. I am thankful for Wycombe Wanderers I would not be where I am today and I will always have a soft spot for the club in my heart.
You lead me nicely onto my next question, you mentioned your transfer at Wolverhampton Wanderers.How do you look back on your time at the club and do you have any special memories or highlights?
Yes, I had a really good time at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the four seasons that I spent there.I was buzzing as an 18 year old when making my debut under Kenny Jackett away to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough Stadium and I was playing out of position at left back and Kenny was really supportive of me and he really encouraged me to go out and play and improve every aspect of my game.
Every time I went out on the pitch I played for him and the best way you can learn as a player is by playing games even when you are playing great you still learn and Kenny kept helping me and starting me in games and that helped me become the player I am today.My time under Kenny Jackett was good and I have had other managers such as Paul Lambert and my time under him was decent as well and I did well.
Walter Zenga although my time under him was not great I still look back on it as a massive learning curve and then Nuno Espirito Santo came in and my time under him was not great but I learned a lot about myself and even though I was not playing as much a lot about the game too and that helped me a lot today because even though I was not playing I still had that hunger to play so when I did get the opportunity to play when I went to Aston Villa I relished every single moment and every game that I played which resulted in promotion. Nuno was still a good learning curve and it helped get that hunger when I went to Aston Villa I was hungry to do well and thankfully I did and we did as a club.
You have accrued a lot of experience at club and youth international level could you say who are among the best players that you have played alongside in your career?
I have been fortunate to play with some very good players and apologies If I have forgotten any players. In terms of teams that England team when we won the Toulon Tournament in 2016 because we had not won for 22 years so it was quite a big achievement for the players under the guidance of Gareth Southgate and his assistant Steve Holland that was team was unbelievable to be far we had the likes of Nathan Redmond, Ruben Loftus- Cheek , Tammy Abraham and Jack Grealish we had a strong team during that tournament and that is probably the best team I have played in.
In terms of individual Rúben Neves teammates Conor Coady is up there with the best I have played with alongside at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham are excellent players at Aston Villa and Ruben Loftus- Cheek at youth international level is an unbelievable footballer.
I can imagine in your position as a defender that you have come up against some difficult opponents through the years, could you say which opponents stand out for you in terms of talent and ability?
Yes, for sure even though everyone knows how good he is not I would have to go with Sergio Agüero he is just an unbelievable striker who has got everything his movement is really intelligent and if you give him a yard he is going to bury it, his finishing is really good and he is also quick he has got it all to be fair so I would have to say that Sergio Agüero is the best player that I have played against so far in my career if I am being honest.
Finally Kortney you mentioned Gary Waddock, Kenny Jackett and Gareth Southgate, could you say who are the coaches and managers that have meant a lot to you and played a key role in your development so far in your career?
For sure, the first manager that springs to mind would be Gareth Southgate. I used to love going to play for England a few years ago when he was in charge, not only for myself but other players too he is such a good man manager , he is just so relaxed, chilled and laid back where players just had that respect for him and you would put in 100 percent as a player. He just knows how to get the best out of players and I would say that Gareth Southgate is the one that stands out, I like his way of coaching and managing and he is a very intelligent manager and he literally lets the players play with freedom and they go on and enjoy it and go and give your all and he also keeps it really simple but is also really effective in my opinion and I really like the way he coaches and manages his players.