Likely Eredivisie champion Karim El Ahmadi shows Aston Villa what they're missing

Aston Villa Manager Steve Bruce

Paul Lambert failed to get the best out of the midfielder at Aston Villa but he's thrived at the heart of Feyenoord's fully functioning machine.

Karim El Ahmadi at Aston Villa

While Aston Villa are mired in the Championship’s mid-table, flanked by Birmingham City and Ipswich Town, Karim El Ahmadi is on the verge of the Eredivisie title.

Comfortably the least illustrious of Die Grote Drie, Feyenoord have been forced to watch on in horror as Ajax and PSV traded Eredivisie titles since the turn of the century. Even FC Twente and AZ Alkmaar, managed by Steve McClaren and Louis Van Gaal respectively, lifted the famous Frisbee since Feyenoord’s last league crown 18 years ago.

Though with El Ahmadi pulling the strings in midfield, probing, passing and netting a career best five league goals, that long wait in purgatory seems certain to come to an end in May.

As it stands, the Southern giants are five points clear of Ajax, eleven ahead of PSV, with a vastly superior goal difference.

If only El Ahmadi displayed this kind of form in Aston Villa colours. Perhaps his stay in English football would have lasted more than just two seasons.

Feyenoord's Karim El Ahmadi in action with Manchester United's Paul Pogba

The Moroccan was a solid if unspectacular performer at Villa Park, a neat and tidy distributor but lacking the ability to really burst forwards and cause damage in the final third. In 51 Premier League games, El Ahmadi found the net just three times.

However, former Arsenal and Barcelona full-back Giovanni Van Bronkhorst continues to show former Villa boss Paul Lambert, whose restrictive tactics failed to get the best out of the midfielders at his disposal, what he was missing.

Former Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert

Giving El Ahmadi licence to roam forward from deep, the 32-year-old has never looked better – or, for that matter, more prolific.

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