Paul Lambert reckons there is plenty more to come from Karim El Ahmadi following his bright second-half display against Manchester United.
El Ahmadi's opportunities have been restricted since the turn of the year because of injury, Africa Cup of Nations commitments and the form of fellow midfielders Ashley Westwood and Fabian Delph.
But the Moroccan ace was called upon at half-time during Monday's clash at Old Trafford and he responded with a lively performance.
Lambert admits the former Feyenoord midfielder has been unlucky not to feature more in his first campaign in English football.
But he was impressed with El Ahmadi's efforts in the central ground against United.
"I thought he did great, Karim," said the Villa boss.
"Against Manchester United I thought he came on and was excellent.
"He's been unlucky, actually. He's had a hard time with injuries. He had an ankle problem and then obviously he was away with the African nations tournament, which never helps, but you've got to abide by that.
"Then he returned and hurt his knee against Everton in his first game back.
"There's still more to come from him. He's only really been here seven or eight months or so.
"It's his first season in the Premier League, but he's definitely a good technical footballer that's for sure.
"I thought he did great. The form of Westwood and Delph has been extremely high and made it hard for the other midfielders to get into the side."
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