Ashley Westwood predicts big things for Aston Villa teammate Jordan Veretout

The French midfielder has been an ever-present in the Premier League since Remi Garde replaced Tim Sherwood as Villa manager at the start of November.

Speaking to AVTV, Ashley Westwood has praised Aston Villa teammate Jordan Veretout for the way he has adapted to the Premier League over recent months following his initial struggles.

Veretout, 22, originally joined Villa from Ligue 1 side Nantes in July for around £8 million, having established himself as one of the French top-flight’s brightest prospects after recording a career-high seven goals and seven assists in 36 appearances last season.

The creative midfielder proceeded to endure a slow start to life in England, however, as he seemed to struggle with the pace and power of the Premier League and failed to hold down a regular place in the since-departed Tim Sherwood’s line-up.

Nevertheless, he has found his feet in impressive fashion since fellow Frenchman Remi Garde replaced Sherwood at the helm in November, starting all 10 league games and adding four assists, while also looking much more strong and comfortable on the ball.

Along with Jordan Ayew, the former Under-21 international has certainly been one of the club’s bright spots during an otherwise dismal season, and Westwood believes he will prove vital to their efforts to turn things around over the second half of the campaign.

“He’s going to take time – he’s come from abroad,” the 25-year-old told AVTV of his midfielder partner. “I think it’s the most difficult league in the world so it’s going to take time for players to settle. I think we’re starting to see the best out of him, though.

“I think it’s the whole English culture which gets a bit of getting used to but hopefully now he’s got the best times in front of him.”

Westwood also had high praise for another of his midfield teammates, Idrissa Gana, after he produced a committed display in Tuesday night’s 1-0 home victory over Crystal Palace to help end Villa’s 19-game winless in the Premier League.

Like Veretout, the Senegal international also arrived from Ligue 1 in the summer, but while he earned rave reviews for his first few appearances for the club, he has found it difficult to replicate that form over the past few months.

However, the £9 million man from Lille has still been an ever-present in the side under Garde, and Westwood believes his latest performance showed how important he can be to the team going forward.

“I thought Idrissa was brilliant on Tuesday,” he added on Gana. “He was running around tackling, doing what he does best. At the end of the day, that got us the result.”

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