Phil Thompson hails Aston Villa left-back Jordan Amavi's debut performance

Trinity Road Stand - Aston Villa

The 21-year-old Frenchman put in stellar display as Villa opened their Premier League campaign with a 1-0 victory at Bournemouth.

New boy Jordan Amavi was Aston Villa’s star player in Saturday afternoon’s narrow 1-0 victory at Bournemouth, according to former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Phil Thompson.

Thompson was speaking on Soccer Saturday after watching Tim Sherwood’s side make a winning start to their Premier League campaign thanks to a debut goal from substitute Rudy Gestede, who powered in a header from Ashley Westwood’s corner 18 minutes from the end.

The towering striker was one of six summer signings to earn their competitive bow for Villa on the afternoon, with new skipper Micah Richards, midfielders Jordan Veretout and Idrissa Gueye, striker Jordan Ayew and left-back Amavi all making the opening day line-up.

It was the latter who made the biggest impression, though, as he shone both in attacking and defence throughout his 90-minute run-out, recording six dribbles, three crosses, five tackles, five interceptions, four clearances and a team-leading 76 touches of the football.

“He’s got great ability,” said Thompson after the match. “You can probably see that he’s a winger who’s been converted to left-back. When he got forward he did so with blistering pace.

“He was going past players, knocking it into space, doing tricks on the ball and he did his job defensively too.

“He to me was the pick of the bunch.”

  PositionTeamTotal TacklesTotal ClearancesInterceptionsTotal CrossesTotal DribblesTotal PassesPassing AccuracyTouchesAppearancesMins Played
Jordan Amavi DF Aston Villa 5 4 5 3 6 42 76% 76 1 90

Amavi, 21, joined Villa from Nice last month for a reported £10 million fee, having racked up 36 appearances and four goals last season to help the Ligue 1 club to an 11th-place finish.

Hailed as one of the French top-flight’s most exciting talents, his promising performance did not go unnoticed across Europe either, and a host of big-name clubs had been linked with his signature earlier this summer, including Arsenal and Atletico Madrid [h/t Daily Mail].

However, it was Villa who managed to push through a deal in the end and, after struggling to find a first-rate option at left-back for several seasons, it looks like the France Under-21 international could well have solved their problems at the position.

A former winger, he has been compared to former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in the past and, if he can go on to have the same kind of Premier League career as his compatriot, then the £10 million will seem like a bargain.

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