Ashley Westwood has hailed Barry Bannan as the perfect midfield partner and hopes their fledgling double act can go from strength to strength.

Paul Lambert has paired the two 22-year-olds together in the centre of the park for the past three matches.

Westwood believes his style of play complements Bannan's and says they have struck up an understanding on and off the field.

"I think we're very similar players but I'm right-footed and he's left-footed and I think that helps on the pitch," said Westwood.

"There's a nice balance between us. We're the same sort of age but already we know each other's game inside out.

"I have only been here three weeks but the likes of Baz have really taken to me, which is really nice.

"It's an absolute pleasure to play with him. He's a good guy and excellent footballer."

Westwood is new to the Premier League stage with his first three Villa starts coming in the win at Sunderland and defeats to Manchester City and Manchester United. But the former Crewe captain reckons Bannan has shown him the way when it comes to the level of craft and graft needed in the top flight.

"He's so skilful on the ball, but he works his socks off too," he said. "I think we work well as a pair in there and help each other.

"He's so sharp you just can't get near him. He's so quick, nimble and when you've got the ball he's always nipping around your ankles hunting for it back.

"A lot's been said about Baz's quality in possession and it's there for all to see, but he works his socks off throughout the 90 minutes. He's chasing, he's blocking, he's harrying."

Westwood reckons he and Bannan have benefited from coming through academies that value young players.