Darren Bent has suggested that things have “not gone to plan” for Aston Villa winger Anwar El Ghazi this season as he tips the attacker to take Trezeguet’s place in the starting XI.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Villa and England striker says that the Dutch international, who signed on a permanent deal over the summer, might have been expecting to start games after helping Dean Smith’s side to the Premier League.
The 24-year-old was a regular in the starting XI after Smith’s arrival as manager and scored the opening goal of the Villans’ 2-1 play-off final victory over Derby County.
However, after starting the opening two games of the new season, he has fallen down the pecking order and was left as an unused substitute against Crystal Palace, with Trezeguet receiving a red card.
Asked if El Ghazi was the natural replacement for the suspended winger, Bent told Football Insider: “Yeah he is, he played really well in the play-off final, came on against Everton and scored a very good goal, so I think he’s ready to go.
“He started the season, maybe thought to himself: ‘I’ve done well, I’m obviously going to start,’ and it’s not gone to plan.
“He’s definitely got all the attributes to go past people, got two good feet, works hard and has a good finish like he showed against Everton. He’s a like-for-like replacement.”
El Ghazi has a total of 40 appearances under his belt for the Villans, with seven goals and seven assists to his name.
The club’s next game sees them play host to West Ham after the international break, with the Hammers having beaten newly-promoted Norwich City in their last match.
In other Aston Villa news, Bent has revealed to Football Insider he has been wowed by one Villa player’s “comeback.”