Tim Sherwood stresses Jordan Veretout will need time to settle at Aston Villa

Tim Sherwood Press Conference Smiling 12/02/2014

The French midfielder racked up seven goals and seven assists in 40 games for Ligue 1 club Nantes last season.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has told AVTV that new signing Jordan Veretout will need some time to adapt to life in the Premier League but believes he has joined the best possible club for his development.

Veretout, 22, enjoyed a breakout season at Nantes last term, playing most of his 40 games as a central attacking midfielder, while racking up seven goals and seven assists to help the Ligue 1 club to a 14th-place finish.

His impressive performances generated a significant amount of interest in his signature this summer, with Bournemouth, Liverpool, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur all named as potential suitors [h/t Presse Ocean] before Villa convinced him to make a £7 million switch to the West Midland last week.

Leicester City had also tried to scupper Villa’s plans at the last minute by offering £3.5 million more for the former France Under-21 international [h/t Daily Mail] but Nantes chairman Waldemar Kita later confirmed that his star man was set on joining the claret and blues instead.

Sherwood is adamant that the promising midfielder has made the right decision in joining the claret and blues but also stresses that, along with the three other summer signings from Ligue 1 – Idrissa Gueye, Jordan Amavi and Jordan Ayew, he will likely need some time to settle into the English game.

“He gives us something different to the other guys,” Sherwood said of Veretout. “He’s played a lot of football for someone so young. We’re really excited about bringing him in. He’s obviously going to take time to settle but he’s going to be in a good place.

“He’s not the finished article by any means, and nor are the rest of the guys, but they’re willing to develop. They’re good learners, good listeners and good people, so they’ve got every chance.”

Veretout, who made 142 total appearances for Nantes over the past five seasons, also impressed in a deeper midfield role last term, suggesting that he has the all-round qualities needed to succeed in the Premier League.

His style of play has already been compared to that of Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey, although the Frenchman himself has stressed that he wants to become known for his own game now he has made the move across the Channel.

“I am flattered to read that people think I remind them of Aaron,” he told the club’s official website last week. “He is a very good midfield player. But at the same time, I am my own player and play my own game.

“Technically speaking, I am someone who likes to have and play the ball. I like the last pass, I like making others play.

“That being said, I know that in this league, I will have to adapt my physical skills. I am generous on the pitch, I like to run for the team.”

There is no guarantee that Veretout will start the weekend’s Premier League opener at Bournemouth, having looked a tad sluggish as a half-time substitute in the pre-season finale against Nottingham Forest, but there is certainly every reason to believe that he and fellow new arrival Gueye can go on to form a stellar partnership in the centre of the park for Villa given their past Ligue 1 performances.

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