Andreas Weimann still enjoys the jokes of Gabby Agbonlahor in the dressing room - but he sees a more serious side to the striker out on the pitch.
Weimann says Agbonlahor is a positive force in the dressing room, especially from Monday to Friday as he keeps Bodymoor Heath buoyant with his hilarious brand of humour.
But he insists he's seen a change in the fab forward since Paul Lambert took over.
Lambert has overseen a drastic alteration to the playing squad, bringing in young and hungry starlets.
Agbonlahor has responded maturely to this - and now works hard to bring the best out of these emerging players out on the fields of the training ground during the week and the pitch on matchdays.
Weimann said: "Gabby has matured on the field as he's got older. You can see that over the past two seasons for us.
"He's been a star player in terms of his performances - so important for us. But, also, I think he feels a responsibility in there with us as a team.
"He knows we're a squad of players improving and progressing and he wants to be a big influence in there to guide the younger lads.
"He's one of the more experienced guys. He know that. He tries to help us. He's a leader out there. He wants to look after us.
"He still tells jokes between games, during the week, but he's serious on a matchday and out there on the pitch.
"He gives advice, gives instructions and encourages the guys."
Agbonlahor looks set to return this weekend as West Ham come to B6.
And while Weimann believes Villa can cope without Agbonlahor, he insists that the team is better with him in it.
Weimann added: "Gabby is very important.
"We have showed we can cope without him. But there's no doubt that when he's fit and available, he's one of our main players.
"He's been around for years. When he's on his game, defenders struggle to handle him. We'd be delighted if he's back this weekend.
"We're a better team when he's playing, no question. When he can't play, we make up for it. We showed that against West Brom. But when he's in there, he makes our team better.
"He's so, so quick. That speed give you an advantage.
"When you're taking about speed, he's more than quick. He's just like lightning. He's incredible. That adds to your team."
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