Aston Villa defender Jose Angel Crespo believes Carles Gil can be key to turnaround

The Spanish midfielder has started each of new boss Remi Garde's first three games in charge after struggling to earn a regular spot in Tim Sherwood's side.

Aston Villa utility man Jose Angel Crespo has told AVTV that he believes a fully firing Carles Gil can help turn around the club’s season.

Before joining Villa from Cordoba in the summer, Crespo got a taste of Gil’s talents up close and personal when his former side faced Valencia in La Liga at the start of last season.

The Spanish defender, who started at left-back for the visitors on the night, witnessed his compatriot come on during the second-half to set up Los Che’s final goal in a comfortable 3-0 win, and he has since seen plenty more glimpses of his playmaking ability after linking up with him in the Midlands.

Villa are currently desperate for an attacking spark while they sit seven points from safety at the bottom of the Premier League, and while Gil has been somewhat quiet in recent weeks, Crespo is confident that he will soon come to the fore.

“As a person, he is a good man,” Crespo told AVTV. “And as a player, he is big for us because the team needs players with his characteristics.

“Every match in England is very difficult, but I think all the team needs is three points because the problem now is psychological.

“He can dribble, he can score goals – I think he’s a very important player for the team.”

 2015-16 Premier League GoalsAssistsKey PassesPassing AccuracyTotal DribblesDribble AccuracyBall RecoveriesDispossessedAppearancesMins Played
Carles Gil 1 0 12 89% 32 42.86% 22 4 10 500

Gil, 22, originally joined Villa from boyhood club Valencia in January for around £3.2 million and has since made 18 total appearances for the Midlands outfit, while recording two goals and an assist in the process.

Despite being hailed as the mercurial No. 10 the team had been lacking upon his arrival, the Spanish midfielder struggled to get a regular run of games under former manager Tim Sherwood, but the flashes of brilliance he showcased when given a chance in the side left fans calling for him to be handed a bigger role.

The arrival of new boss Remi Garde last month has since seen him start on the right wing in each of the Frenchman’s first three games in charge, but he has so far failed to stamp his influence on the side.

He certainly provided a number of bright moments in the 0-0 draw with Manchester City before being withdrawn just after the hour mark, but he needs to show those on a more consistent basis if he is going to become Garde’s main man.

The physicality of English football compared to La Liga has clearly been a tough hurdle for him to overcome, but with his immense technical abilities, he just needs to look to fellow former Valencia products David Silva and Juan Mata for inspiration.

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