The Villa manager is backing his new striker to convert his Championship goals into top-flight success.
Prior to his successful Rovers spell, though, the French-born striker got a previous taste of top-flight action with Cardiff City during the 2013-14 campaign, when he managed only three cameos for a total of 49 minutes over the first half of the season before heading for Ewood Park.
However, Sherwood stresses that the 6ft 4in front man has since made a huge amount of progress and, having outscored £14 million-rated Jordan Rhodes at Blackburn last term with 22 goals, believes Villa have got a real bargain.
“Rudy is someone who hasn’t got to settle into English football,” he said. “He’s not played much in the Premier League up till now but I think he’s someone who’s capable of doing that.
“He’s a great guy who still wants to develop and learn, which is crucial, and his goalscoring record is second to none. Everyone talks about Jordan Rhodes because he scores goals but Rudy outscored him last season at Blackburn.
“They’re taking about £11 million upwards for Rhodes so we think we’ve got a bargain there.”
|2014-15 Championship||Position||Team||Goals||Headers Won||Header Success||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Alex Revell||FW||Cardiff / Rotherham||6||224||51.38%||40||2,426|
|Sean Morrison||DF||Cardiff / Reading||7||221||65.77%||42||3,779|
|Atdhe Nuhiu||FW||Sheff Wed||8||209||46.04%||43||2,975|
Gestede has some big boots to fill at Villa in replacing Christian Benteke, who made a £32.5 million move to Liverpool last month, but, much like his predecessor, the Benin international is renowned for his aerial presence.
In fact, there was no one in the Championship who even came close to matching his success in the air last season, having won 135 more headers than his nearest rival, Cardiff's Alex Revell.
Sherwood thinks that will stand him in good stead for taking on the Premier League’s best, adding: “He’s got one outstanding quality – the size of the guy and his aerial presences is immense. It’s better than anything I’ve seen around English football.
“He terrorises defenders in the air and, if he can do that in the Championship, then I’m sure he can do it in the Premier League.”
With Emmanuel Adebayor also reported to be joining Gestede, fellow new boy Jordan Ayew, Gabby Agbonlahor, Libor Kozak and Callum Robinson at Villa Park this week [h/t Mirror], competition for places in Sherwood’s side looks set to get even more fierce.
Nevertheless, given both his recent goalscoring record and his manager’s fondness for using a big man as the focal point of his attack, the former Blackburn ace seems a good bet to see regular minutes this season.