Aly Cissokho says Aston Villa need to lean on Carles Gil

Trinity Road Stand - Aston Villa

The Spanish playmaker impressed in Saturday's 1-1 FA Cup third round draw at Wycombe Wanderers after netting a wonder goal against Sunderland last weekend.

Aston Villa defender Aly Cissokho has told AVTV that the club need to rely on players like Carles Gil if they want to beat the odds and avoid the drop.

Gil, 23, originally joined Villa from boyhood club Valencia last January for a reported £3.2 million fee and has since made 22 total appearances for the claret and blues, while recording three goals and one assist.

The Spanish playmaker has shown plenty of glimpses of tantalising quality during his time in the Midlands so far, but at the same time he has also struggled with his end product and still seems to be coming to terms with the pace and power of English football.

Those issues have seen him fail to establish himself as a regular starter under either former manager Tim Sherwood or successor Remi Garde – despite becoming an instant fan favourite for his skill and promise, but the Premier League's bottom side are now in desperate need of some of that creativity as they try to close the 11-point gap to safety over the coming months.

The diminutive No. 10 demonstrated his game-changing potential during last weekend’s 3-1 loss at Sunderland, when he volleyed in a stunning equaliser from Adama Traore’s cross shortly after the hour, and Cissokho believes it is now vital that he is given the chance to provide those kinds of moments on a more regular basis.

“I think we need players like that,” said Cissokho, who was also teammates with Gil at Valencia between 2012 and 2014 before leaving for Villa. “Players who can create and score unbelievable goals like that.

“It’s very important for us to have players like Carles Gil, Jack Grealish, Jordan Ayew and Jordan Veretout to bring more technique to the team, and I think we need players like that.”

Along with Gil, Ayew and Veretout have provided some of Villa’s best moments of quality this season, with the former netting five goals in his last 10 Premier League games and the latter standing out in recent weeks with some bright midfield performances.

However, with the two summer signings from Ligue 1 still adapting to the English game and Garde having few proven Premier League commodities at his disposal, it is no wonder that the club have recorded a division-low 16 goals from 20 games.

There were high hopes for Gealish this term after his first-team breakout during last season’s run-in, but the homegrown midfielder has instead struggled for form and fitness and fallen foul of his new boss for his off-field actions.

Teenage winger Adama was also expected to bring some excitement to Villa Park following his £7 million switch from Barcelona, but he has so far failed to make a top-flight start and is now set to spend the next 10 weeks on the sidelines after breaking a bone in his foot against Sunderland.

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