The Spanish playmaker netted his first Premier League goal for the club in Sunday's 3-2 defeat at the King Power Stadium.
Aston Villa may have fallen to an agonising 3-2 defeat at Leicester City on Sunday afternoon, but there were still some positives for them to take from the match.
One of those was clearly the performance of Spanish playmaker Carles Gil, who was making just his first Premier League start of the campaign due to the ankle injury he suffered in pre-season.
After Jack Grealish’s first-half opener, the former Valencia product looked to have put Villa on course for their second top-flight win of the season in the 63rd-minute when he netted a spectacular left-footed strike from the edge of the box to double their lead.
However, having been dealing with the aftereffects of a knock he picked up in the first half, manager Tim Sherwood opted to replace the skilful midfielder with striker Jordan Ayew soon after his stunner, upon which point things fell apart for the visitors.
Subsequent goals from Ritchie De Laet, Jamie Vardy and on-loan winger Nathan Dyer saw Leicester seal a late 3-2 comeback win, as Villa fans were left wondering how different the result could have been had Gil not been brought off.
After all, he had been arguably the visitors’ best player until that point, having been demonstrating the passing and dribbling skills which had the claret and blue faithful so excited about his mid-season arrival last term.
As well as netting his second goal for the club, the £3.2 million man completed 90 per cent of his 31 passes during his time on the pitch, while also recording five dribbles and creating a first-half chance for Grealish which the 20-year-old should have buried before going on to grab the 39th-minute opener.
|Vs Leicester||Goals||Total Shots||Shots Ontarget||Key Passes||Total Passes||Passing Accuracy||Total Dribbles||Duels Won||Duel Success||Touches||Dispossessed||Mins Played|
In addition, the former Under-21 international was never dispossessed during his 48 touches and also put in a decent defensive shift in winning two tackles and seven duels.
It was the kind of display which proved precisely why he could be so key to Sherwood's side moving forward and also showed that getting rid of him in the summer would have been a grave mistake – especially after making such a solid start to life in England.
Signed from Valencia last January, the promising 22-year-old promptly scored Villa’s goal of the season on his full debut in a 2-1 FA Cup fourth round win over Bournemouth, before going on to earn rave reviews in his first four league starts.
However, after being hauled off 58 minutes into Sherwood’s first game in charge against Stoke, he would go on go on to earn just a one-minute cup cameo over the remaining 15 games of the campaign, as suggestions of a falling-out with the Villa boss led to reports that he was set to return to Spain.
Thankfully, those rumours proved to be wide of the mark and, having now been deemed ready to contribute to Sherwood's side, it looks like he could be primed for a successful first full season in the Midlands.