Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic was immense last night once again for the club.
There has been a lot said about Manchester City's transfer business last summer, Scott Sinclair an unused substitute last night a case in point.
But if there is one signing they did make who they well and truly hit the jackpot with it was Matija Nastasic.
The young Serb is 19, and was just 18 when signed by the club, but you wouldn't know it by his composed and physical performances.
Nastasic came to the club to replace the disastrous Stefan Savic, but the way he has been performing, comparisons with countryman Nemanja Vidic are more apt.
Nastasic has heard these before, and insists he doesn't want to hear them and is his own man, and his ability gives him that very right to be so self-assured.
Against Aston Villa he helped the side keep a clean sheet, winning all seven of his aerial duels, and making more effective clearances (six) than any other City player.
For those who have been watching him regularly, his development is no surprise. A few eyebrows were certainly raised when Roberto Mancini threw him into action at the Bernabeu back in September in the Champions League, but despite City's loss that night he was one of his side's best performers.
Nastasic is the principle reason why Joleon Lescott, a cornerstone of last season's title success, has found himself sidelined for much of the campaign, with Kolo Toure pushing him down to fourth choice.
When Vincent Kompany returns from injury, it appears clear already that Nastasic will be the one partnering him.
Yet it appears bizarre that the Serb receives so little credit, compared to other young players this season. When the Young Player of the Year Award is doled out don't expect the Nastastic to win it for his profile is so low.
But if there was any justice, Nastasic would win the award, or at the very least be a certainty for the top three.
Does Nastasic deserve the praise? How good can he be?
image: © Gene Hunt