Wilkins backs Villa bid for West Ham's Reo-Coker

Ray Wilkins is backing Aston Villa's bid for West Ham United midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker.

Wilkins was Peter Taylor's right-hand man during the tournament's qualifying campaign before Stuart Pearce and Steve Wigley took over this year.

And the former England, Chelsea and Manchester United star, who now works as a pundit for Sky Sports, believes Reo-Coker would be perfect for Villa.

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"Nigel is first-class as a bloke and as a player and he was the ideal captain when I was involved with Peter," said Wilkins.

"I saw him interviewed last week when he said the time had come for him to move on and leave West Ham and I think he's right.

"If he does move to Villa, which seems to be the case, then I think it would be perfect for the player and for the club.

"It would suit them because he would be a younger, fresher replacement for Gavin McCann.

"It would also suit him because Birmingham's not too far from London which is important when young lads are moving away from home."

Wilkins has been particularly excited by Ashley Young and believes the Villa flier is best suited to the wide role he is playing for the Under-21s.

"Ashley is another smashing lad to work with and for such a young lad he knows his function in the field," he said.

"We've seen him out wide in the tournament and he's been outstanding against players of his own age. As he grows and gets stronger I think he will be just as effective down the middle but for the moment he's better out wide.

"He's another one who I feel will go on to do very well at Villa and I don't think his price tag will worry him at all."

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