Micah Richards suggests Carles Gil can become an important player for Aston Villa

Aston Villa star Gil is slowly working his way back into the first-team set-up.

Speaking to the official Aston Villa website, captain Micah Richards has given a promising assessment of Carles Gil’s return to match fitness, admitting that he can become an extremely important player for the club.

The defender said: “It was good to see Carles get some game time in the matches against Notts County and Sunderland. He's looking really sharp - and that will only increase as his match fitness improves. He links up the play well and once he has built up his match fitness even further he will be an important player for us.”

Gil has yet to live up to his reputation at Villa Park since his signing in January, although he has shown flashes of technical excellence in rare outings.

Due to an injury suffered in pre-season, Gil has been behind the curve in fighting his way back into Tim Sherwood’s plans, but he played 100 minutes of action in the League Cup victory over Notts County, before playing 22 minutes in the 2-2 draw with Sunderland.

He is slowly returning back to the first-team fold, and Richards believes he will become an important player for Villa when playing at full speed.

It is hard to disagree with the captain’s assessment, especially as Gil looks like he could be a perfect player for Sherwood’s current tactical set-up with the Birmingham-based club.

He has favoured a 4-3-3 system so far this term, and with Gil one of few out-and-out wingers in the playing squad, the former Spanish youth international could come to establish himself as a key player for Villa.

And after their slow start to the campaign, his return cannot come a moment too soon.

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