The 19-year-old winger made his first appearance under Garde in last Saturday's 3-2 home defeat to Watford as a second-half substitute.
Asked about the 19-year-old’s starting chances for Saturday’s trip to Southampton at his pre-match press conference, manager Remi Garde stressed that his star prospect still needs to improve both his teamwork and understanding of the game if he wants to be more than just a late-game weapon.
The former Barcelona winger has made good progress in those areas of late, but according to Garde, his 22-minute showing off the bench against Watford was not up to the standards required.
“Adama is very young. He needs to learn,” the Frenchman told reporters. “I was not completely happy about the way he came in the [Watford] game.
“He needs to improve his understanding of the game. He can be very strong in one-versus-ones, as he is very quick and fast, but he needs to understand a bit more about the collective game.
“He is a nice person, a nice lad. I have the feeling he wants to improve and then is on the right way for me.”
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Adama joined Villa from Barca in August for a reported £7 million fee, having made four senior appearances for the Catalan giants over the previous two seasons, while also recording eight goals and 18 assists in 63 games for their B team in the Spanish second division.
Having been regarded as one European football’s hottest prospects, the promising wide man’s arrival in England was greeted with much fanfare, but he has so far made just five Premier League cameos for a total of 92 minutes and one Capital One Cup start.
He did make a bright start to life at Villa Park, scoring on his full debut in the 5-3 League Cup second-round win over Notts County in August, but the calf injury he subsequently suffered during the second half of the tie ended up sidelining him for the best part of a month.
The ex-La Masia product later made his comeback as a 69th-minute substitute in the 3-2 league defeat at Liverpool in late September, but his performance came in for criticism from former manager Tim Sherwood after he attempted a match-leading eight dribbles but just four passes.
“With Adama, you see the best and the worst of him and, unfortunately, we haven’t seen the best of him today,” Sherwood told AVTV after the Liverpool loss. “He is a real threat but he can also be detrimental to your side at certain stages and he needs to learn – we knew that from the start.”
Villa fans often got frustrated when Sherwood reiterated that Adama was one for the future rather than the now, but so far it seems like Garde is taking much the same approach to the Spanish-born Malian’s development.
The claret and blue faithful are still desperate to see him get more opportunities over the coming weeks due to his game-changing potential, but until he improves the “collective” side of his game, his starts look set to be few and far between.