Andreas Weimann has backed quiet man Nathan Baker to be a big noise for Villa.
Baker is only in his fourth season of senior football but Weimann thinks the centre-half has come on in leaps and bounds this term, under the tutelage of established stopper Ron Vlaar.
That was demonstrated aptly in the 0-0 draw with Southampton, with the centre-half pairing keeping England internationals Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert quiet throughout.
Weimann said: "Nathan was excellent against Southampton.
"Overall, he has put in some good performances this season.
"People forget that he's still only young. But he's already played quite a bit of senior football.
"The main thing is that he's learning, developing and improving. That will only continue.
"I have played with him for many years, all the way through from youth level.
"He's one of the hardest defenders in the business, no doubt about that. He absolutely loves a tackle.
"You go on to the training pitch and you just know you're going to be in a battle with Nathan in every single session.
"He doesn't give an inch. He's in the thick of the action. He loves it.
"He's so brave. He's been knocked out a few times in games too! That sums up his approach!
"He's happy putting his body on the line. He's a real warrior. It's the same in training and in games.
"The amount of shots he blocks, you'd think his life depended on it. The ball is like a magnet with him. He's always been like that.
"He's matured as a defender too. Having Ron next to him has been a big help. He's the captain and he's an encouraging leader in that back four."
Weimann says the ferocious and fearsome presence of Baker in matches is the complete opposite to his personality off the field.
He added: "Nathan is so quiet. I sit next to him in the dressing room.
"He will talk to you but he's nowhere near as loud as Gabby and Fabian.
"He was even quieter in the academy. He says nothing now - but that's more than he did when he was younger!
"That's just him as a person."
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