Karim El Ahmadi is determined to play a big role in Villa's midfield this season, insisting: "This is my chance to prove myself."
El Ahmadi has made an impressive start to the campaign, featuring in the three Barclays Premier League games against Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.
His early-season performances earned praise from manager Paul Lambert, who said the Moroccan midfielder has "been the player I thought he could be" since reporting back for pre-season.
The 28-year-old's progress was hampered last term after he picked up an injury following his return from the Africa Cup of Nations.
But now El Ahmadi is feeling fit and ready to make his mark.
"I've got an opportunity now to play more games than I did last year," said the former Feyenoord player.
"I always try my best for the team and also to prove myself because I came here to win games and be very important for the team.
"I had a good pre-season. Last year I had a hard time. I went to the African Nations Cup and came back and had a few injuries. I was struggling a little bit.
"It was my first year in the Premier League and I needed to feel at home.
"I feel very good and I feel fit - that is the most important thing.
"That is why I want to give it a go this season and be important for the team and especially for the club."
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