Tim Sherwood explains why Jordan Amavi lost his place in the Aston Villa line-up

Kieran Richardson

The 21-year-old left-back saw Kieran Richardson start over him in last Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Chelsea.

Tim Sherwood’s decision to start Kieran Richardson over summer signing Jordan Amavi at left-back in last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea baffled most Aston Villa fans, but he insists that he needed the former Manchester United man's experience in the line-up amid the club’s poor run of form.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s home game against Swansea City, which could see Richardson retain his place, the Villa manager told the Birmingham Mail: “I think the defence did a good job last week. I thought the experienced players were good and Kieran deserved his chance to play.

“Jordan has shown that he can be one for the future. He can still be a big player for the club and he certainly will be but I thought it was the right decision to bring Kieran in.

“I have been looking at the games back and, as individual performances, some of them have been ok for the new players but there is always that moment that just costs you a game and that has got to come out.”

 Under Sherwood Premier LeagueAssistsKey PassesPassing AccuracyTotal Crosses MINSTotal Dribbles MINSTotal Tackles MINSTackle AccuracyInterception MINSAppearancesMins Played
Jordan Amavi 2015-16 2 7 79% 19.63 14.35 20.72 83% 22.61 9 746
Kieran Richardson 2014-15 0 2 74% 41 246 41 83% 70.29 6 492

Saturday’s loss was just Richardson’s first league start of the season, having been widely expected to leave Villa in the summer following the arrival of 12 new signings, including his supposed replacement in Amavi.

The 31-year-old utility man, who joined the club on a two-year deal from Fulham in July 2014, started eight of Sherwood’s 16 games in charge over the second half of last season at left-back but his performances left a lot to be desired for the most part.

Amavi on the other hand has been earning rave reviews since making a £10 million move from Nice, where he was considered one of Ligue’s 1 most exciting prospects thanks to an impressive 2014-15 breakout season.

The France Under-21 international had not missed a minute of Premier League action this term before the Chelsea game but it now remains to be seen how much he will feature for Sherwood’s side over the coming weeks and months.

Having been arguably Villa’s most impressive summer buy from overseas, it was certainly surprising to see him lose his place to Richardson and, if the latter does earn a second straight start against Swansea, he will need a strong performance to keep his manager from criticism.

Nonetheless, with the likes of the Telegraph reporting this week that Sherwood is facing the sack if his side suffer a sixth consecutive top-flight defeat on the afternoon, Amavi might not find himself in his current situation for much longer.

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