Pundit Adrian Clarke has recently hailed the emergence of Aston Villa winger Anwar El Ghazi.
Clarke appeared as a guest on the latest episode of the Totally Football Show and the panel discussed multiple issues involving the Premier League. One topic of discussion was Aston Villa’s recent form and Clarke talked about El Ghazi’s performances. He believes that it is ‘crazy’ how the winger has come leaps and bounds in recent weeks and he had lots of praise for the former Lille man.
The 25-year-old Dutchman, who is valued at £7.2 million (as per Transfermarkt), has made eight Premier League appearances this season and his first start in the campaign came in December itself. In the last five games, he has found the back of the net just as many times. He grabbed a brace against West Brom (as per Transfermarkt).
Will El Ghazi keep this form going in the long-term?
Clarke was praising El Ghazi and he made it clear that he is enjoying the ‘renaissance’ of the former Ajax man.
He said (27:14): “I’m really enjoying this renaissance from El Ghazi. Five goals in five games, a player that didn’t get his first start since mid-December, quite remarkable really. And what’s happened here with Barkley being out, they’ve changed from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1. El Ghazi likes it on the left – he’s right footed, but he likes it on the left.
“He’s offering great balance and it’s brought Jack Grealish into a central area. Grealish has made 22 chances in the last four games from the number ten position. I mean, he’s been brilliant all season, so that’s not a huge surprise perhaps but El Ghazi, who had to wait for his first start remember till mid-December, he’s had 23 shots in those four games. It’s just crazy really and it’s great to see.”
TIF Thoughts on Clarke’s comments on El Ghazi…
El Ghazi’s recent form has certainly been impressive, especially considering that the Dutchman has scored against the likes of Wolves and Chelsea too.
The 25-year-old boasts the highest xG per 90 minutes this season for Dean Smith’s men – 0.83. He has also generated the fifth-best xG for the side – 0.18. He has also accumulated the highest number of non-penalty goals per 90 minutes for Aston Villa (as per FBref).
This shows that he’s certainly had an impact at Villa Park in the short-term, but he’d have to keep this run of form going as that would really help Smith’s men get inside the top-four.