Nielsen exclusive: Helenius will score and create lots for Villa
Danish striker Nicklas Helenius will maintain his prolific scoring record next season - and also set up plenty of chances for his new Villa colleagues.
That's the view of Aalborg manager Kent Nielsen, who was a big favourite at Villa Park after moving here from Brondby in 1989.
"Nicklas has very good vision," said Nielsen. "Last season he was not only our highest scorer, he also made the most assists.
"He is always aware of his team-mates and he has a very good pass.
"He's also very lively during matches and will always cause problems for the opposition.
"He scored a lot of goals at under-17 and under-19 level, and he has continued scoring for the two-and-a-half years I have been at the club."
Nielsen is obviously disappointed to be losing the 22-year-old international, who was second in the Danish Superliga goal charts last season.
But he is delighted the youngster is following in his own footsteps by coming to Villa.
"We are sorry to see him leave, but on the other hand we also know the nature of football," said the man who is best remembered by the claret and blue for his stunning volley against Inter Milan in the UEFA Cup in 1990.
"I'm pleased he has joined Villa. If he was going to join a Premier League club, Villa were the right club for him.
"That's not just because Villa are close to my heart. They have a very young squad at the moment and they are giving the youngsters a chance, just like we have done here in Aalborg.
"So in one eye we are sad but in the other eye we are smiling. Nicklas has taken many steps forward over the past two years but this one is huge.
"The pace of the game in England is a challenge for all Scandinavian players.
"But he is such a good finisher and if he can find the space like he has in Denmark he will score goals.
"Hopefully I will get the chance to come back to Villa Park next season and see him in action."
Despite the youngster's height, Nielsen believes Helenius's biggest asset is his powerful shot.
His final goal for Aalborg was a header against Nielsen's former club Brondby, but it's on the ground that the former Villa man expects him to be most effective.
"He has been very impressive for such a young player," added Nielsen.
"He scored a few goals with headers last season but his main strength is his shooting. He hits the ball so hard it's unbelievable.
"He is very strong from distance and is very precise. A lot of his goals have been scored from the edge of the penalty area, but he can also score what you would call easy goals, which is obviously important.
"He has progressed well throughout his time here. His first touch needs a bit of developing and I think he needs to put on weight, and he is going the right way."
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