86% pass-accuracy, seven recoveries: Jordan Veretout has encouraging Aston Villa debut

The French midfielder helped Tim Sherwood's men record a 1-0 win at Bournemouth in his first competitive appearance for the club.

Jordan Veretout was one of six debutants to make a positive impression for Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon, as Tim Sherwood’s men began their season with a 1-0 victory at Premier League newcomers Bournemouth.

The hosts were made to rue missed first-half chances from Dan Gosling, Callum Wilson and Marc Pugh, respectively, as substitute Rudy Gestede’s 72nd-minute header from an Ashley Westwood corner proved enough to hand Villa all three points on the afternoon.

Gestede and fellow summer signings Jordan Amavi and Idrissa Gueye stole most of the headlines for their excellent showings at Dean Court but Veretout also put in an encouraging performance in his first competitive appearance for the claret and blues.

Before going off for Carlos Sanchez in the 71st-minute, the French midfielder managed to rack up some solid statistics on both side of the football, recording three tackles, seven ball recoveries and completing 86 per cent of his 49 passes – the second-most by a Villa player, as well creating a first-half chance for Gueye.

 Vs Bournemouth Total ShotsTotal Key PassesTotal PassesPassing AccuracyTotal TacklesDuels WonTouchesBall RecoveriesMins Played
Jordan Veretout 0 1 49 86% 3 4 58 7 71

The 22-year-old's encouraging start comes after he enjoyed a breakout 2014-15 season at Ligue 1 club Nantes, playing most of his 40 games as a central attacking midfielder, while recording seven goals and seven assists to help the team achieve a 14th-place finish.

His impressive form generated a significant amount of interest in his signature earlier this summer, with Liverpool, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur all named as potential suitors [h/t Presse Ocean] before Villa convinced him to make a £7 million switch to the West Midlands last month.

Leicester City had also tried to scupper Villa’s plans at the last minute by offering £3.5 million more for the former France Under-21 international [h/t Daily Mail] but Nantes chairman Waldemar Kita later confirmed that his star man was set on joining Sherwood's side instead.

Already compared to Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey for his two-way playing style, his new boss has stressed that he will need time to adjust to the English game but, judging from his outing against Bournemouth, there are definite reasons to be optimistic about his claret and blue future.

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