Villa boss O'Neill: Routledge can recapture best form

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill is confident he can help new signing Wayne Routledge fulfill his potential.

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He said: "As a kid at Crystal Palace, Wayne looked exceptional and I know lots of things can happen in a couple of years to young players and he has stagnated a bit.

"I am sure he will say he is not totally blameless but it is up to him now and I have been really impressed by his desire to want to succeed at the highest level.

"That has been the most impressive thing. He is going to get a chance at one time or another. It is up to him, and he knows the competition for places is pretty tough - and we've just had five boys named in the England squad.

"But he has the potential to do very well - and do much better than he has shown in recent times. If he can get back to the form he showed as a young boy, then that would be exciting.

"I don't think it is a risk. We are paying £1.25million for a lad who in the past has shown he has talent. If his desire is anything like it seems to be, then great.

"He will have tough times here but he is prepared to battle."

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