Aston Villa midfielder Idrissa Gana explains why he enjoys playing for Tim Sherwood

The Senegal international has proven one of the club's best summer signings through the first two months of the season.

Despite Aston Villa recording just one Premier League win so far this season, midfielder Idrissa Gana is enjoying his start to life at the club because of manager Tim Sherwood’s attacking mentality.

Speaking to AVTV, the £9 million summer signing from Lille said: “I have a good relationship with the manager. He’s helping me a lot to progress and he likes using players who like to go forward, which is what I like doing on the pitch.

“[But] at the moment we are not winning many games so we have to work hard on the training ground to win the next one for the fans.”

 2015-16 Premier League GoalsAssistsKey PassesPassing AccuracyTotal Tackles GAMETackle AccuracyInterceptions GAMEBall Recoveries GAMEAppearancesMins Played
Idrissa Gueye 0 0 6 85% 4 80% 3 8.4 5 450

Gana, 26, arrived at Villa having established himself as one of Ligue’s 1’s top midfielders at Lille, where he made 176 total appearances over the past five seasons, as well as racking up a career-best four goals and three assists last term.

Likened by Sherwood to Chelsea’s Ramires because of his versatility, the Senegal international has since established himself as one of the first names on the teamsheet and earned some impressive reviews for his all-round performances in the centre of the park.

“I’ve enjoyed it very, very much,” he added on his first few months in England. “Villa Park is exceptional. I love playing there. I’ve seen it on TV but to play there is even better.

“I have a good friend in Charles N’Zogbia who has helped me. He has shown me some good places to go and he translates for me on the training ground. The most important thing for me now is to adapt well.”

After starting the first four top-flight games of the season, Gana was forced to miss a three-game stretch this month after injuring his hamstring in Senegal’s 2-0 win over Namibia, and Sherwood has admitted that the team felt his absence over that period.

The versatile midfielder made his comeback in the weekend’s 3-2 defeat at Liverpool but, having looked slightly off the pace, his manager will be hoping that Saturday’s visit of Stoke City sees him back to his previous form, as 18th-placed Villa look for a much-needed win ahead of the international break.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch