Aston Villa's Paul Lambert looking for more from Aleksandar Tonev

Manager Paul Lambert refuses to give up on one of his key summer signings who is struggling to make headway at Villa this season.

Lambert still believes Aleksandar Tonev can still become a Premier League success despite fading from his first team plans.

The 24-year-old Bulgarian international was seen as a key signing for Lambert when he became Villa's first recruit in a busy summer of 2013.

But £2.5m midfielder's struggle to make any kind of impact has become a key symbol of criticism about the quality of last summer's signings.

Tonev was brought in to add creativity to Villa's line up but has yet to make any kind of impact. His manager, though, refuses to accept that it will stay that way.

"You're looking for more from Alex," said Lambert.

"He's got all the attributes there as well; speed, two feet, everything's there for him.

"He's probably taken longer to adjust with a lot of things.

"But he's got all the attributes there and it's just about trying to get that together and that's why I've put him in and out.

"He's got blistering speed, two great feet and you probably wouldn't know what's his strongest foot actually because of the way he can kick it with both. He's taken long to adjust but you always know that can happen."

Aston Villa's Aleksander Tonev , right
Aston Villa's Aleksander Tonev , right

Tonev's exclusion from Villa's first-team plans will continue this weekend when they take on Premier League leaders Chelsea at Villa Park.

The fixture brings back a painful memory for Villa who felt hard done by in the Stamford Bridge fixture when some contentious decisions proved key in a 2-1 defeat.

And with the team buoyed by their last Villa Park appearance which saw Norwich City beaten 4-1, striker Andi Weimann admits revenge would be particularly sweet.

He says: "I think we definitely should have got something out of the game down there because we played really well.

"Hopefully we can do that again and get what we deserve this time.

"They are top of the league now so obviously everyone is looking to catch them and we hope we will be able to take points off them.

"I think attacking-wise if we are on our game we can hurt anyone and we'll look to do that against Chelsea."

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