Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier is delighted with the impact of youngster Barry Bannan.

Houllier says Barcelona's small men Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi, who took Real Madrid apart in El Clasico on Monday, remind him of Scottish ace Bannan.

Houllier said: "I told Bannan the best players in the world are even smaller than you.

"Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Pedro. You can watch and wonder if they are playing in the youth team sometimes.

"They have fast technique and young Barry has all of that.

"The Premier League has got more physical but it is not about a matter of size.

"Obviously you need size in some positions but it's also a matter of commitment and physical commitment. Barry is competitive."

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