Aston Villa defender Jores Okore hails centre-back partnership with Joleon Lescott

Villa Park 6

The pair helped Villa pick up three draws last month while starting four successive games together.

Aston Villa defender Jores Okore believes that Joleon Lescott is his ideal centre-back partner because of how their different attributes complement each other.

Okore, 23, initially missed the opening four months of this season after undergoing knee surgery in the summer, having battled through the pain barrier during last term’s run-in in order to help Villa avoid the drop.

However, the burly stopper eventually returned to first-team duty in the 1-1 draw at Southampton last month, when he started alongside Lescott at centre-half in the absence of the injured Micah Richards and suspended Ciaran Clark.

The pair’s impressive performances saw them both keep their places in the side for the next three games, as Villa suffered a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal before recording back-to-back 1-1 draws against Newcastle United and West Ham United, and their growing rapport in the heart of defence seemed to bring some much needed organisation to the backline.

Speaking to AVTV, Okore was full of praise for Lescott’s recent form and added that he believes his more physical strengths complement the 33-year-old summer signing’s experience and leadership skills perfectly.

“It’s really good. Joleon comes with a lot of experience and has played a lot of Premier League games so he knows his stuff,” said the Denmark international. “He can help me and I can help him because he’s got a lot of experience and I’m a young guy with some other attributes, so I think we complement each other well and it’s nice to play alongside him.”

2015-16 Premier League TeamTotal Tackles GAMETackle AccuracyTotal Clearances GAMEHeaders Won GAMEHeader SuccessInterceptions GAMEPassing AccuracyBall Recoveries GAMEAppearancesMins Played
Jores Okore Aston Villa 1.75 29% 6.25 0.75 60% 2 84% 5 4 360
Joleon Lescott Aston Villa / West Brom 1 92% 5.77 1.77 70% 2.46 79% 4.85 13 1,125
Micah Richards Aston Villa 1.71 75% 7.36 3 72% 2.79 86% 4.5 14 1,260
Ciaran Clark Aston Villa 1.22 73% 8.56 3.89 71% 2.56 76% 3.56 9 810

Unfortunately, the partnership between Okore and Lescott was broken up on Monday at Norwich City, as the former sat out the match with further knee trouble while the latter was rested on the bench due to the quick fixture turnaround.

The fit again Richards and Clark both started the game as a result but could not prevent Remi Garde’s men from falling to a 2-0 loss after each committing several glaring defensive errors over the course of the afternoon.

It now remains to be seen who the Frenchman will start when Villa face relegation rivals Sunderland on Saturday afternoon at the Stadium of Light, but with Okore already back in full training, there is a chance that he could recall both the Dane and Lescott.

That would likely see skipper Richards shifted over to right-back in place of Alan Hutton, where plenty of fans believe he would be better suited after spending most of his career at the position.

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