Jores Okore explains the ‘important role’ Carlos Sanchez has for Aston Villa

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Okore believes that Sanchez’s midfield role eases the pressure on the defensive line.

Speaking to the official Villa website, central defender Okore has admitted he has been impressed with Sanchez during his debut season in England, believing that his work makes the defensive line better.

The Danish defender said: “Carlos is a very good player. He has an important role in the team. He offers that strong presence ahead of the back four. He gives a lot of protection for the likes of myself and Ron Vlaar. He makes it easier for us to go out there and perform.

Colombian international midfielder Sanchez arrived at Villa Park last summer, signing from Spanish side Elche, and he has made 30 appearances in all competitions this term.

Predominately a holding midfielder, Sanchez has done little to excel since his arrival, although his presence in the middle of the park adds steel and a tough tackling persona to a Villa side severely lacking in both.

Whilst his statistics do little to suggest he has enjoyed a good season - with just one goal and assist to his name - he has started to properly grow into that deep-lying position since Tim Sherwood’s appointment.

He netted that goal last weekend, in the 3:2 loss to Manchester City, and his all-energy play had many considering him as the man of the match.

Rather than playing in a midfield obsessed with lateral passes, as Villa were under Paul Lambert, the Colombian has bought in exceptionally well to the more energised play Sherwood is preaching.

Rather than sitting deep as an anchor man, Sanchez can break from deep to exert his influence over the entire pitch, not just to his benefit - but for Villa’s as well.

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