Garth Crooks praises Scott Sinclair's position change after performance against Sunderland

Van Persie And Sinclair

Garth Crooks believes Scott Sinclair could become an effective striker for Aston Villa.

Pundit Garth Crooks has told BBC Sport that he is a fan of Scott Sinclair's new role as a central striker under Tim Sherwood at Aston Villa.

Villa drew 2-2 against Sunderland on Saturday, with a Sinclair brace cancelling out Yann M'Vila's opener for the Black Cats, only for Jeremain Lens to snatch a point for Sunderland.

The biggest story to come out of the game is Sinclair's stunning form, as he made it five goals in a week following his hat-trick against Notts County in the Capital One Cup.

Sinclair, 26, joined Villa on a permanent basis from Manchester City earlier this summer, and was initially signed as a winger - the position he has played in throughout his professional career.

However, manager Sherwood chose to play Sinclair as a striker, and he was repaid as the former Chelsea youngster scored twice.

It's an interesting position change, but Sinclair's pace and movement make him a threat on the shoulder of the last man - and pundit Crooks has told BBC Sport that he is a fan of the move, with Sinclair showing Arsenal's Theo Walcott how to make the transition from winger to striker.

"Scott Sinclair is starting to look like a player again," said Crooks. "We saw glimpses of it last season and I must say, unlike Arsenal's Theo Walcott, I like Scott Sinclair as a centre forward."

"He's brave for a slightly-built lad and prepared to take the knocks in order to get amongst the goals. I'm not sure he can fill Christian Benteke's shoes after the Belgian's move to Liverpool, but he's made a bright start," he added.

It remains to be seen whether Sherwood truly sees Sinclair's long-term future at Villa Park as a striker, but all he can do is score goals and prove his worth - and he has done that so far.

An extended period up front should give Sinclair ample opportunity to impress Sherwood, and Villa may have stumbled onto a real find with Sinclair's position change.

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