Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood explains why Idrissa Gueye has him excited

The 25-year-old midfielder but in an impressive debut performance in last Saturday's 1-0 win at Bournemouth.

Aston Villa new boy Idrissa Gueye has been earning plenty of plaudits for his display in Saturday’s Premier League opener at Bournemouth, including from manager Tim Sherwood.

The Senegalese midfielder’s competitive club debut saw him put in an excellent all-round performance to help Villa record a 1-0 win over the top-flight newcomers, while he even came close to opening the scoring in the first-half with a thumping shot that was just high and wide of the target.

After looking dangerous in the attacking third in pre-season, fans are hoping that the former Lille man can chip in with a few goals over the course of this term, although Sherwood stresses that he is much more excited by the consistent drive and energy that he will bring to his side.

Speaking to AVTV on the qualities he offers, Sherwood said: “Not necessarily goals but what he is going to give you is 100 per cent every time he plays.

“He’s not got a fantastic goalscoring record – that’s not necessarily what we brought him for, although we’re happy if he wants to chip in with a few, obviously.

“But he is wholehearted and I think he suits the Premier League. He loves the pace of the game, is very aggressive, loves to tackle, gets to people and wants the football.

“He’s brave in possession and we’re really pleased with him. He’s been outstanding in training – probably the quietest I’ve seen him yet was during the game on Saturday!”

 Vs Bournemouth Total ShotsShots OntargetTotal PassesPassing AccuracyTotal TacklesDuels WonDuel SuccessInterceptionsMins Played
Idrissa Gueye 2 1 51 82% 4 11 68.75% 3 90

Gueye, 25, joined Villa last month on a four-year deal from Lille for a reported £9 million fee, having made 176 total appearances for the French club over the past five seasons.

Labelled one of Ligue 1’s top emerging talents in recent campaigns, the Senegal international was linked with the likes of Marseille and Southampton earlier this summer [h/t Daily Mail], before the claret and blues managed to push through a deal.

While originally more of a defensive midfielder, his growing versatility has earned him comparisons to Chelsea’s Ramires of late and, after recording a career-best four goals and three assists last term, the though-tackling signing himself believes he is better-suited to a box-to-box role.

“I’m a box-to-box player,” he told AVTV last month. “I can defend but l also want to get goals, so I’m going to work very hard [to score more].

“I spoke with Tim Sherwood and he told me he can do many things for me,” he added. “I’m very happy to work with a good manager like him.

“I’m looking forward to playing at Villa Park and very excited for the first game there.”

Gueye only has to wait a couple more days for that fixture now, with Friday night’s home opener pitting Sherwood’s side against Manchester United – a clash which will give him a prime chance to showcase his Premier League credentials.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch