Aston Villa boss Lambert hails 'excellent' Westwood

The 22-year-old midfielder only moved to Villa Park in the summer from League One outfit Crewe but has slotted seamlessly into the side, much to his manager's delight
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has praised the impact that summer signing Ashley Westwood has had on the side this season.

After moving to Villa Park from Crewe on transfer deadline day, the midfielder failed to immediately break into the starting XI, only making his first Premier League start in November.

However, he has been an ever-present since and Lambert believes that the youngster's performances have been underestimated by many.

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"I think a lot gets overlooked with Ashley. I think he has been excellent since that Sunderland game when he was thrown in," the Villans boss 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 per cent giving it away!"

The former Dortmund midfielder hailed Westwood's seamless transition into the side and hailed his experience captaining Crewe as being essential to his footballing 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 Scot recalled.

"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."