Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has praised Ashley Westwood’s impact on his new team so far this season.
After moving to Villa Park from Crewe on transfer deadline day, midfielder Westwood failed to immediately break into the starting 11, only making his first English Premier League start in November.
However, he has been an ever-present since and Lambert believes the youngster’s performances have been underestimated by many.
“I think a lot gets overlooked with Ashley. I think he has been excellent since that Sunderland game when he was thrown in,” Lambert told the club’s official website.
“His pass ratio was extremely high and he never gives it away. I think his pass success rate is right up there at about 91 per cent. I think that’s been really overlooked.
“Sometimes nobody wants to play the easy pass but he does that and he makes it look easy. Because he’s not giving it away people think he’s not doing anything but he’s been exceptional.
“Did I have a similar percentage rate? I was 91 percent giving it away,” Lambert joked.
The former Dortmund midfielder hailed Westwood’s seamless transition into the first team and hailed his experience of captaining Crewe as being essential to his football development.
“Ian (Culverhouse, Lambert’s assistant manager) saw him a right few years back and I remember him coming back and saying: ‘There’s a lad at Crewe you should keep your eye on’.
“The biggest thing about him at Crewe was that being captain he played a lot of games in men’s football, so he knew what it was about. He just came in here and he’s taken to it no problem whatsoever.”