5 Things Aston Villa Fans Need to Know About Their New Signing Carles Gil

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Without a win in six and possessing the lowest goals tally of any professional club in England, Aston Villa have turned to Spanish playmaker Carles Gil in a bid to become more creative in the latter part of the season.


The 22-year-old, who cost Paul Lambert's men a reported £3.2m, arrives at Villa Park on a four-and-a-half-year-deal from Spanish giants Valencia​.


But what do we know about Gil and can he be the man to, as Lambert put it, "bring that extra creative element to the side"?


Here are a few things to get you up to speed:

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5. He's a Valencia Product...

​Born and raised in Valencia, Gil is a product of Los Che's academy and, like so many of the club's youngsters, was farmed out on loan before being handed a first team chance at Mestalla Stadium.


Spain internationals past and present, in David Silva (Eibar/Celta), Jordi Alba (Gimnastic), Pablo Alcacer (Getafe) and David Albelda (Villarreal) have all followed this path before making a name for themselves in La Liga.


Gil, who returned to the club in the summer following two seasons at Elche, scored once and added one assist in nine appearances (three starts) for Nuno Espirito Santo's side this season.

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4. ...But Learned His Trade at Elche

After helping local side Elche to the Liga Adelante title in 2012/13, Gil remained with Los Franjiverdes for a further season - as they entered their first top-flight campaign in 24 years.


Despite scoring one goal and contributing just two assists in the league, Gil remained a regular as the club survived the drop - finishing in 16th place.


Gil may not be a household name yet, but he will be familiar to at least one current Villa player in Colombian midfielder Carlos Sanchez - another key part of Elche's side in 2013/14.

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3. He's a Spain Under-21 International

Okay, so he was only capped once by La Rojita​ but their under-21 side is a bit harder to get into than England's, for example.


Gil impressed on his sole appearance however, stepping off the bench during Spain's 4-0 win over Albania in Euro 2015 qualifying and assisting the final goal for Jese Rodriguez with a neat one-two on the edge of the box.


Also in the team that day were Athletic's Iker Muniain (who scored twice), Liverpool's Alberto Moreno and Real Madrid star Dani Carvajal - among others!

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2. Everton Pondered, as Did a Few Others

​Everton were linked with Gil towards the end of last season, with a view to replacing the on loan Gerard Deulofeu who returned to parent club Barcelona in the summer.


​According to the Mirror, the Toffees were keen to trigger the playmaker's £6m release clause at one point (almost twice what Villa paid in the end), while La Liga sides Atletico Madrid and Sevilla - who later snapped up Deulofeu on loan - were also interested in his services.


There was even speculation about a possible move to Barca in the summer of 2013 - though it is thought that Gil would have gone straight into the Blaugrana B team.

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1. His Style of Play is Reminiscent of a Young Joe Cole

Gil, a lot like Villa team-mate Joe Cole, is relatively short in stature (5ft 7ins to be precise) and his low centre of gravity allows him to wriggle his way out of tight situations while maintaining the ball at his feet.


London-born Cole once revealed how he would dribble a tennis ball to school and back to improve his close control and you can imagine Gil doing something similar during his younger years, only with more sun.


The Spaniard's ability to glide past opponents and and carry the ball 40 or 50 yards in an instant is one that I'm sure most Villa fans will find refreshing. He is versatile, too; best deployed in the hole between midfield and attack, but equally adept in a creative role on either flank.


Gil is yet to master the art of adding goals and assists to his game, but this is something that will surely develop in time - he's got four and a half years to learn, but Villa might need him to do so sooner rather than later.

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