Alan Hutton has been swooning over Aston Villa loanee Pepe Reina after the early impact that he has had on the club, speaking to Football Insider.
The 37-year-old was brought in for the rest of the campaign following Tom Heaton’s season-ending injury against Burnley.
He had only played two league games during the first half of the season for AC Milan, a total that he has already matched during his limited time under Dean Smith.
If there had been fears that this would prevent him from performing to a high level, Hutton feels they have been proven wrong, as he said: “He has been amazing since he has come in. He is so calm on the ball. He is starting attacks and is commanding his box. These are all the things that teams want from a goalkeeper now.
“Combine that with his experience of playing at a high level, he has got it all. It is as if he has been here for years. As a defender when you see a goalkeeper that is calm, it settles you down.
“He has been a great signing. Especially after losing a top player in Tom Heaton for the rest of the season.”
The goalkeeper has already highlighted that he can make an impact for the club despite being there for a short period of time.
Against Brighton & Hove Albion, he made an impressive stop to deny Neal Maupay’s volley, as he dived down to his right so he could tip the ball around the post.
He then followed that up with his persistence against Watford, stopping Gerard Deulofeu’s effort, before getting back into position to deny Troy Deeney his second of the match.
It was even his long ball into the box that eventually led to Tyrone Mings’ winner in the six-pointer.
Villa have managed to claim what could turn out to be a vital four points during Reina’s first two games for the club and it is undoubted that he has made a fair contribution to that.