Villa boss Houllier likens Bannan to Barcelona stars Xavi, Iniesta

Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier has likened Barry Bannan to Barcelona stars Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

Houllier believes Bannan has the potential to go far in the game after being delighted with the 20-year-old playmaker’s early impact in the first team.

Asked whether Bannan can cut it in the top flight, Houllier told the Birmingham Mail: “Yes, definitely. I had players at other clubs who were the same size and had wonderful careers. The top level is about skill, intelligence and desire.

“He is an intelligent player, he can read the game well and adapt well. I don’t think Xavi and Iniesta, who are outstanding players, are of huge size. They are intelligent, they have the skill, they have the desire – young Barry has all of that.”

Click here for the best Aston Villa coverage on the 'net. All your Villans news and gossip in one spot.