Aston Villa’s 2-1 victory against West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday evening was a much-needed boost for the club, the supporters and new manager Tim Sherwood.
The former Tottenham Hotspur boss had not won either of his first two league matches since taking charge at Villa Park but a late penalty from Christian Benteke ensured all three points at the third attempt.
Villa had a number of players to thank for their victory, not least defender Jores Okore.
The young Dane still has plenty to learn, and there were times when he was helped out of trouble by his defensive partner Ciaran Clark – who was simply outstanding on the night – but Okore is developing into a wonderful centre-back in his own right.
Against West Brom, the Villa player had a passing accuracy of 80 per cent while he made a total of 14 effective clearances (11 with his feet and three with his head).
He also won five ground duels, two aerial duels and two interceptions.
|Passing Accuracy||Tackles Won||Effective Clearances||Effective Headed Clearances||Duels Won||Aerials Won||Interceptions Won||Key Passes||Mins Played|
The simple fact is, the partnership of Clark and Okore means the likely departure of Ron Vlaar this summer due to his contract expiration is no longer a big deal.
In fact, should the Dutchman leave it will allow Okore to continue his development into what could be one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League.
There is still work to be done, with Clark outshining him - and assisting him - this week, but at just 22 the Villa player has time on his side and talent in abundance.