Belfast Telegraph

Gil: I'm not Silva standard yet

Carles Gil has played down comparisons with David Silva after joining Aston Villa from Valencia.

Gil, who has signed a four-and-a-half-year contract at Villa Park, is a big admirer of Silva, who moved from the Mestalla to Manchester City for £26million in 2010, but accepts he has a long way to go to match the Spain star.

"I really like him as a player, when he was at Valencia and now at Manchester City," the attacking midfielder said.

"He's such a huge player - he's the best in Europe. We can't compare to each other. He's followed a path to the Premier League and I'm not on that path yet.

"Valencia is my lifetime club. I've spent many years there but Aston Villa were a club that really interested me. So it was easy to make that decision and I'm really looking forward to working here."

The deal was delayed after a late wrangle over agents' fees, meaning Gil was forced to miss his first scheduled flight to Birmingham.

And the 22-year-old admitted he was nervous during the hold-up.

"Yes, we had to wait for the agreement to be made and that was difficult," he said.

"I wasn't able to make flight because agreement hadn't been made at that time with Aston Villa."

Gil has been capped once by Spain's Under-21s and now hopes to force his way into the senior side after a move to England.

He said: "It's something I'd love to do. It's a really difficult thing - it's one of the best teams in the world."

Villa have scored just 11 goals in 21 Barclays Premier League games - the lowest in England's top four divisions.

Christian Benteke has netted three of those goals, and Gil is eager to link up with the Belgium striker ahead of Saturday's visit of Liverpool.

"I saw him in a game recently - he's a really great player," the Spaniard said. "I'm looking forward to playing with him and the rest of the team.

"I'm here simply to play with the rest of the team. There are great players here and I'm hoping to help them rise to a slightly better position."

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