The claret and blue boss believes Charles N'Zogbia is just like the Tottenham Hotspur striker in how he attracts undeserved criticism.
N’Zogbia, 28, failed to make a single appearance for Villa last season after injuring his Achilles during the summer of 2013, and had looked set to leave the club alongside fellow “Bomb Squad” members Darren Bent and Alan Hutton.
The since-departed Paul Lambert granted the trio a reprieve during preseason but the Frenchman couldn’t make the most of his second chance, falling out of first-team contention in the months leading up to the Scot’s sacking after 12 disappointing starts in 17 games.
He has been welcomed back into the side with Sherwood’s arrival, however, and impressed during his second consecutive start in the weekend’s 2-0 FA Cup win over West Bromwich Albion.
Under contract until 2016, the polarising winger has failed to live up his £9.5 million price tag since arriving at Villa from Wigan Athletic in 2011, but his new boss has suggested that he could be set to become a major contributor to the team moving forward.
“He knows, I’ve told him straight, get yourself fit and you’re one of the best players we’ve got in the team who can affect a football match,” said Sherwood.
“The biggest attribute that he’s got is that he will go and play in front of anyone and he will do his best. He’s got no qualms about the crowd being a little bit edgy, he just gets on with it.
"He was great on Saturday. He will continue to improve. and he’ll be better than that. It’s been injuries and being left out.”
Having brought Adebayor back into the fold at Spurs during his brief spell in charge last season, Sherwood also sees clear similarities between the pair.
The Togo international made just one substitute appearance under Andre Villas-Boas but would go on to start all but two games after Sherwood replaced the Portuguese in December, netting 14 goals in the process, and the Villa boss believes N’Zogbia can make a similar impact during their relegation battle.
He’s similar to Adebayor,” Sherwood added. “They want to rubbish them all the time. I’ve never had a problem with Adebayor or Charles N’Zogbia.
“I don’t know who’s been rubbishing him, but I’ve heard and I’ve come here ‘oh he won’t do that, he’ll let you down’.
“I’ll take him at face value and he hasn’t let me down yet. I think he’s got goals in him. I know Charlie and I’ve watched footage of him just last week of him playing at Wigan.”