When Rushian Hepburn-Murphy made the move to Cambridge in January, he must have been expecting to have a significant impact at the Abbey Stadium.
Capped up to England Under 20 level and with 15 Villa outings to his name, Hepburn-Murphy looks to be one to watch for the future. League Two might not seem the obvious choice for such a talent, but Jorge Grant last season and Tyler Walker this have shown what can be achieved.
His time with the U’s has certainly not panned out as he might have liked and now the 20-year-old might be fearful for his immediate future.
Dropping into League Two is a huge risk for any player of his stature. A handful of outings for a Championship club shows that you have potential, but that has to be realised when you make the move. For Hepburn-Murphy, that hasn’t been the case.
He’s made ten appearances for Colin Calderwood’s side, but has bagged just one, coming on as a late sub against Grimsby. He didn’t start the next game, despite his goal.
He’s now on the bench for a struggling League Two side. That’s not a good look for an England Under 20 international.
What must the youngster be thinking? Surely he’s regretting leaving the security of the Aston Villa academy for the real world, or maybe just the choice of club.
Cambridge have struggled all season and perhaps that is the problem with his move. Jorge Grant played in a good team, Tyler Walker too.
When things are going well around you it is easier to develop, but when the atmosphere is tough, maybe there’s less room for error. Aston Villa teammate Callum O’Hare went to Carlisle and he’s started all seven matches, but they’re a top seven aspiring team playing with a swagger.
Hepburn-Murphy is a talented player, but as he sits on the bench watching a side struggling for confidence and points, he must wish he was back at Bodymoor Heath, playing Under 23 football with his reputation intact, rather than slowly deteriorating in League Two.