Lee Hendrie picks Scott Sinclair to be Aston Villa's difference-maker

The former Manchester City winger rounded off pre-season with a hat-trick in last Saturday's 3-3 draw at Nottingham Forest.

Former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie believes that Scott Sinclair could be a major difference-maker for the club this term after seeing him net a hat-trick in the pre-season finale against Nottingham Forest.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Premier League opener at Bournemouth, which the ex-Manchester City winger is expected to start, Hendrie told AVTV: “I’m really excited about Scott this season. He’s got a bit of experience and I think we can get the best out of him now he’s settled and signed.

“He’s quick and sharp and I think he can score goals for us this season.

“You’ve seen so many players who’ve gone to Manchester City and fizzled out and I think he’ll want to prove a point now coming here.

“He’ll want to play every game and that’s what we want – players who are coming in and chomping at the bit to contribute and get this club back where it should be.”

 2014-15 Premier League TeamGoalsAssistsTotal Key PassesPassing AccuracyTotal CrossesCrossing AccuracyTotal DribblesDribble AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Scott Sinclair Aston Villa 1 0 2 78% 6 0% 10 38.46 9 461

Sinclair, 26, initially joined Villa from big-spending City during the January transfer window on a loan deal for the rest of the campaign, having seen his once-flourishing career go off the rails at the Etihad Stadium.

Making a £6.2 million switch from Swansea in August 2012, big things were expected of the promising wide man after he netted 36 times in 91 games for the Welsh outfit but he would go on to earn just three starts in three-and-a-half seasons instead, as injuries blighted his spell.

The former England Under-21 international made a promising start to his Villa career, however, scoring three goals in his first seven appearances before a hamstring problem limited him to just a couple of brief cameos during the final stages of the campaign.

Nevertheless, with the club’s Premier League survival since triggering a £2.5 million permanent move, the ex-Chelsea product appears set to make the most of his fresh start, having managed to get 430 pre-season minutes under his belt and looked sharp in all six fixtures.

After his three-goal display against Forest, there is certainly good reason to be excited about his 2015-16 campaign and, if he can recapture the form that once saw him tipped to become an England regular, then Villa will have got an absolute steal.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch