Aston Villa boss Remi Garde impressed by Jordan Veretout's improvement

After a slow start to life in England, the French midfielder has been an ever-present in the side since Garde's arrival last month.

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde believes summer signing Jordan Veretout is starting to find his feet in English football after witnessing his performances over recent weeks.

Speaking to AVTV about the French midfielder, who has started each of Garde’s first four games in charge since he replaced Tim Sherwood at the helm last month, the new boss said: “He’s getting better and better game after game. He’s a good asset to the team.

"I’ve got different options in the midfield, of course, but Jordan is doing well.

“I’m always judging the team more than individual performances, but I have to do that as well.”

2015-16 Premier League GoalsAssistsKey PassesPassing AccuracyTotal CrossesCrossing AccuracyTotal TacklesTackle AccuracyInterceptionsDispossessedAppearancesMins Played
Jordan Veretout 0 2 12 83% 25 36% 12 92% 10 3 9 637

Veretout, 22, enjoyed a breakout 2014-15 season at Nantes in a playmaking role, recording a career-high seven goals and seven assists in 36 Ligue 1 games to attract reported interest from the likes of Liverpool, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur [h/t Presse Ocean].

The youngster eventually joined Villa on a five-year deal in July for around £8 million but proceeded to endure a slow start to life in England, as he failed to hold down a regular place in the now-departed Sherwood’s side.

Development coach Kevin MacDonald, who served as caretaker manager before Garde’s arrival, claimed in October that “little niggles” were to blame for the former Under-21 international’s struggles, while also making a point of praising his passing and vision.

“Jordan is a wonderful passer of the ball but he keeps picking up little niggles,” MacDonald told the club’s official website. “It's not bad enough he can't play or train but I think that might be affecting him a bit.

"He also has a young family - his wife has just had a baby. He started off wonderfully and had a little dip, but watching him in training these last few days, I think he is coming back again.

"He will get better, and he is looking to impose himself in training games. Now he has to do that over a period of time. If he does that, he will be a very, very good player."

MacDonald’s words seem to have held true since, as Veretout has made big strides forward in recent weeks, looking strong on both sides of the ball as an ever-present the centre of the park under compatriot Garde.

The Frenchman has also picked up two assists from set-pieces over the past two games against Watford and Southampton, and with his confidence growing, he seems to be more willing to show his creative side in possession.

Previously compared to Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey, his display have not ultimately been enough to lift Villa off the bottom of the table, but his recent improvement suggests that he will be a big part of their survival bid going forward.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch