Aston Villa's Leandro Bacuna tells why new boy Jordan Amavi has caught his eye

The 21-year-old left-back was arguably Villa's star player in last Saturday's 1-0 win at Bournemouth.

Aston Villa utility man Leandro Bacuna has told AVTV how impressed he has been by left-back Jordan Amavi’s start to life in the West Midlands.

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

Labelled one of the French top-flight’s most exciting prospects, his impressive performances attracted reported interest from the likes of Arsenal and Atletico Madrid earlier this summer [h/t Daily Mail], before manager Tim Sherwood convinced him that Villa was the best place for his development.

Going on to star in pre-season, the France Under-21 international then started the weekend’s Premier League opener at Bournemouth opposite Bacuna and proceeded to put in a man of the match-calibre showing to help Sherwood’s side to a 1-0 win.

A former winger, he made a particular impression when bombing down the flank and, having been making the same transition himself, his fellow full-back believes the pair can cause havoc to top-flight defences together.

“I think he is a really, really good player and he’s got a good cross as well,” said Bacuna. “He’s maybe a similar full-back to myself. He’s trying to get forward and get crosses in, and that’s really great to see.”

In a straight-out sprint, though, the Dutchman believes he would just have the edge over his new teammate.

He added: “I’d probably beat him!”

 Vs Bournemouth Total TacklesTotal ClearancesInterceptionsTotal PassesPassing AccuracyTotal CrossesTotal DribblesBall RecoveriesMins Played
Jordan Amavi 5 4 5 42 74% 3 5 8 90

Amavi is not the only new boy who has caught Bacuna’s eye, however, as Rudy Gestede also received a few words of praise after coming on to head home the 72nd-minute winner against Bournemouth.

The 6ft 4in front man arrived from Blackburn Rovers earlier this month in a £6 million deal, having scored 35 times in 72 appearances across all competitions during his 18-month spell at the Championship club.

19 of those goals came off headers – the most in England over the past two seasons – and, having teed up the since-departed Christian Benteke on a number of occasions with his pinpoint crosses, Bacuna is now hoping to strike up a similar rapport with the Belgian’s towering successor.

“Definitely, if he’s playing,” Bacuna told AVTV. “He can get really high up, so it will be interesting!"

With Gabby Agbonlahor flattering to deceive up top against Bournemouth, Friday night’s home opener against Manchester United could well see the French-born striker earn a spot in the starting line-up alongside Bacuna and Amavi, who would both be sure to provide him with decent service.

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