While Aston Villa could take few positives from their 5-0 thumping at Arsenal on Sunday lunchtime, newboy Carles Gil once again showed fans a glimpse of things to come.
A dominant Gunners side took the lead through Olivier Giroud’s 8th-minute strike, before well-taken finishes from Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott made it 3-0 in the second-half.
Santi Cazorla then added a fourth from the spot with 15 minutes left, after Brad Guzan had brought down substitute Chuba Akpom, before Hector Bellerin completed the rout with a long-range effort at the death.
Villa have now gone eight league games without a win, six top-flight matches without a goal and remain just three points above the relegation zone, but in the likes of Gil there are difference-makers who can help pull them out of trouble.
Making his second start since a £3.25 million move from Valencia earlier this month, the Spanish midfielder might not have been able to replicate to last weekend’s stunning FA Cup goal, but it was clear he was the visitors’ most dangerous attacking outlet over the course of the 90 minutes.
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In fact, Gil’s 11 crosses and eight dribbles were both the most recorded by a Villa player in a Premier League game this season – a startling couple of statistics considering the scoreline at the Emirates Stadium.
Paul Lambert’s side have been desperate for a creative spark for some time now, and it looks like they might just have found their man ahead of what’s set to be a difficult second half of the season.
At 22, and having just moved to a new league, it’s a given that there will be a few teething problems over the coming months, but Gil’s start to life in the West Midlands should certainly have fans excited about his future.
However, as was outlined on Sunday, the team itself is far from guaranteed to retain their Premier League status unless a couple more pieces are added during the closing stages of the transfer window.