Trezeguet is getting stronger game-on-game for Aston Villa, and it’s about pushing on for the Egyptian from here on out.
Words: Harry Trend | @HazaTrand
There was a distinctly African flavour to the Aston Villa side that so nearly upset Liverpool at Villa Park on Saturday. Marvelous Nakamba at the heart of midfield, Anwar El Ghazi, who is of Morrocan descent on the right, and then Trezeguet, the goal scorer, on the left.
All three have had an impact as the season has progressed, but it’s Trezeguet who has improved the most. Now the Egyptian has broken his goalscoring duck – is this the time that he kicks on in a claret and blue shirt?
When Trezeguet joined Aston Villa in late July, it was clear that he’d need time to adapt. Ability wise, the 25-year-old rivals most in the side – but for someone who has played in the Egyptian, Belgian and Turkish leagues – there was always going to be a bedding-in period.
His quality was clear to see from the get-go. Replacing Jota after 59 minutes to make his Premier League debut away to Tottenham Hotspur, Trezeguet immediately put in an arrowing cross that nobody could get on the end of.
The way that the Egyptian travels so purely on a pitch is pleasing to watch; with the winger keeping the ball a few inches from his right foot with an excess of touches, allowing him to turn on the afterburners if needs be.
It would be fair to say that Trezeguet does give the ball away a little too often at times – but it’s also a sign that he is willing to try things. At Kasimpasa, the winger was their man main, scoring 25 and assisting 18 in his 71 spell at the club. Those 25 goals included a range of finishes too, from long-range goals to free-kicks and volleys – as well as finishes from getting behind a defence.
Unsurprisingly, he came to England with confidence.
Other criticisms that Trezeguet has been labelled with include his fitness – but going back to the aforementioned adjustment from the Turkish Super League to the Premier League – it goes without saying that the pace of the game is much quicker in England.
As a winger of a newly promoted club, defensive doggedness is often what is needed – especially against top sides. This was a key factor in Trezeguet’s performance at home to Liverpool, with the former Anderlecht man facing one of the strongest right sides in the Premier League. He even had the beating of Trent Alexander-Arnold on a few occasions.
Without doubt, the Liverpool game was his best in an Aston Villa shirt to date. There was the goal – a volley low, and hard past Alisson. There was also the disguised, perfectly weighted reverse ball which almost set up Conor Hourihane for what would have been Villa’s second.
There were also signs that he just gets it too, with a moment of turning towards the fans to gee them up. There’s also his salute towards the fans for his goal.
His improvement is visible, and his goal will help. The foundations have set, and now it’s time for the winger to truly make Villa Park his home.
It’s unfair to evaluate Villa as a team this early into the season with so many new signings. However, performances and players are still improving and Trezeguet, or Trez, as he is known affectionately to many at Villa Park, is at the heart of that.