Aston Villa youngster Barry Bannan is the latest player to be linked with a loan move to Elland Road as Simon Grayson tries to reinforce his midfield for Leeds’ promotion push.

The 22 year old was part of the Blackpool side that won promotion to the Championship last season and also had a loan spell at Derby County towards the end of the 2008-09 campaign.

This season has seen Bannan’s emergence as a fringe player in the Aston Villa first team with 19 appearances to date. He has also made two appearances for the Scottish National side, with Craig Levein tipping him as a star of the future.

Whilst Bannan isn’t the experienced head most Leeds United fans would like to see brought in on loan, he does come with an awful lot of acclaim and expectation. Ian Hollaway described him as a “beautiful footballer, absolutely lovely to watch” whilst Darren Fletcher said that he “is in the mould of the best midfielders in the world”.

Defending his size, Bannan’s current boss Gerard Houllier also revealed himself to be a big admirer;

“He is an intelligent player, he can read the game well and adapt well. I don’t think Xavi and Iniesta, who are outstanding players, are of huge size. They are intelligent, they have the skill, they have the desire – young Barry has all of that.

Quite a lot to live up to in a world where talented youngsters are a penny per dozen, but Bannan seems to be totally unfazed by the hype describing his driving test as more stressful than playing Premier League football.

Sounds like the calm and collected character we’ve been looking for.