Alan Hutton says he was encouraged by Mbwana Samatta’s Aston Villa debut in the club’s 2-1 League Cup semi-final win over Leicester City.
The former Villa and Spurs defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, said there were plenty of positives to take from the Tanzanian’s performance, despite his failure to score.
Samatta arrived from Genk this month in a £8.5million deal and made his first start for Dean Smith’s side in Tuesday’s semi-final second leg, Trezeguet firing home late to send the Villans to Wembley.
The 27-year-old was inches from crowning his debut with a goal but failed to connect with a wonderful cross from Jack Grealish on the hour-mark.
When asked about the striker’s first appearance at Villa Park, Hutton told Football Insider: “It was always going to be difficult. He has only just come and I saw him do an interview where he talked about the pace of training being a lot higher than what he was used to.
“I think he came in and did quite well. He was running the channels. I think he needs to mix it up, come short and try and link-up play but the signs were good. He had a couple of opportunities that he will be disappointed he did not take, especially the second one.
“He has definitely got something and hopefully, he can build on that in the coming weeks because it was a position that Villa were crying out for.”
The Claret and Blues have been in desperate need of a striker since learning that Brazilian, Wesley, will miss the remainder of the season with ruptured knee ligaments.
They have also seen Jonathan Kodjia move to Qatar, leaving young Keinan Davis as the most senior centre-forward before Samatta’s arrival.
In other Aston Villa news Kevin Phillips is unconvinced with Smith’s decision to shift player forward.