That, however, could change very quickly as N’zgobia was bought from Wigan by Aston Villa for £9.5 million as a replacement for essentially both Stewart Downing and Ashley Young who made big moves in the off-season to Liverpool and Manchester United respectively.
With the up and coming Marc Albrighton playing on the right, N’zogbia will in all likelihood line-up in Downing’s previous position on the left flank. But, N’zogbia is capable of playing either flank, in the hole or even at left-back.
However, don’t bet on him seeing much time in the back line as the Villains sold £36 million worth of talent out-wide.
That said, N’zogbia’s versatility will be a huge plus for Villa with him capable playing in either a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3. On top of that, he will likely take a majority of the team’s free-kicks with his skilled left foot. Add on the fact that he was given the #10 jersey and you can see the impact Villa expects from this young talent.
N’zogbia already has shown his penchant for goal scoring in his debut in a friendly against Braga, similar to the way that Darren Bent scored in his 1st game as a Villain. The two will need to develop chemistry quickly along with Gabriel Agbonlahor, who missed most of last season with injury, if the club are going to have much success in their attacking third and become one of the most dangerous trio’s in the premiership.
If N’zogbia can live up to his potential he brings a dangerous left foot, a knack for goal and pace to burn. A player like that can hide many flaws in a side, or help ease the transition of a young player into the group such a Fabian Delph, who was purchased from Leeds a few years back in the hopes that he could blend his athleticism, vision and touch in the midfield to give Aston Villa the creative flair it had been missing. Aston Villa is looking to the future, but has to compete in the now for it’s future to be effective, N’zogbia will be key to keeping the win tallies high and making the job of youngsters flowing in and out of the line-up easier.
With all that talent and potential N’zogbia is still not without flaws and Alex McLeish will need to be wary of N’zogbia’s temperament in order to get the best out of his newly acquired weapon/ get his club to perform at the best of it’s abilities.
Once nicknamed, “Insomnia” by a former manager, N’zogbia is a polarizing player and will likely cause some form of it this season whether it be from McLeish or opposing defenses.
If Villa expects to improve on their somewhat underwhelming performance from last season, it’s going to have to rely on a strong performance from this enigmatic footballer.
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