Ron Vlaar has paid tribute to talismanic forward Gabby Agbonlahor on the eve of the Chelsea clash.
Vlaar skippered the side to a 3-1 win at Arsenal.
Agbonlahor was in superb form during the contest, winning two penalties at The Emirates to set up the victory.
The striker's impact on proceedings was certainly not lost on the captain.
Vlaar called his display "amazing" as pundits such as Jamie Redknapp, Mark Lawrenson and Garth Crooks all lavished praise on the flying forward.
But as well as helping Villa earn victories in the coming weeks and months ahead, Vlaar insists that Agbonlahor keeps all the defenders at Villa on their toes in training.
He thinks facing Agbonlahor at Bodymoor Heath is a great way of ensuring defensive resilience.
He said: "Gabby is a great player.
"He's so strong. And his pace? It's unbelievable. He is a threat for everyone he faces. I hope he keeps playing like that for us.
"He was amazing against Arsenal. But overall he is a very important player for us.
"From my own perspective, coming up against him in training is fantastic. It's really good.
"That's how you get better. It all starts in training and then it's right on the pitch."
Vlaar also paid tribute to Antonio Luna, who scored the decisive third goal on his competitive debut.
He added: "It means a lot to him. To score your first goal as a left-back in your first game? That doesn't happen to many players!
"It means a lot to us too. You could see his happiness for him, us and the crowd. It was a great result and a great day."
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