By Paul Brown
Paul Lambert is eager for Karim El Ahmadi to play with a licence to thrill this season.
Lambert insists he won't curtail El Ahmadi's freedom in the centre.
The new Villa boss, who says he's been an admirer of his new signing for quite some time, believes El Ahmadi will quicken up the tempo in the middle of the park with his impressive range of passing skills.
He said: "Karim is someone I have been aware of for a while. I think he will be great for us. He is a very, very good footballer.
"I don't think he's a set player in terms of defensive or offensive. He can do most things and could do both roles if I asked him to do that.
"Certainly I won't curtail him and will let him play with freedom because I think that is the way he plays. He is a very good player.
"It was pleasing to get the deal done early because we needed someone who can put their foot on the ball and move it about a bit quicker. I think he'll do that for us.
"I think your eye as a manager tells you what a player is like in terms of their good habits and bad habits as well as how well they can move the ball.
"I think he can move the ball well and, at 27-years-old, he's an experienced player who has played international football.
"He's played at top club in Feyenoord and played in some big games in Holland as well."
Lambert is confident El Ahmadi will be in tune when the opening match of the season against West Ham rolls around next month.
That's due to the fact El Ahmadi will have enjoyed a full pre-season in his new league and new country.
He continued: "I'm pretty sure coming to the Premier League will be different challenge and also a different culture for Karim.
"What will help Karim is that he is in here from the beginning. He is here right from the off - it is not as if he is coming the day before we play West Ham and it's a culture shock and he's in a situation where he has not trained much.
"He's here right from the start so it should not really be a hindrance to him."
Lambert also hailed the quality of the competition he has joined from.
He added: "Dutch football is still a very strong league. You only have to look at Ajax and the way they played against Manchester United in the Champions League to realise that - they were very good.
"There's some big, big clubs and Karim has come from one of them.
"It won't faze him coming. I think if you give him the confidence he'll go and play."
Click here to buy season tickets for the new term as Villa embark on a vibrant new era.