Dean Smith hailed Wesley as a “terrific player” after he struck with two early goals as Aston Villa stormed to a 5-1 Premier League win at Norwich.
The Villa boss said before the game he was backing the club’s £22million record signing Wesley to make an impact, adding that the Brazilian striker had trained well after coming under criticism for having only scored two goals across seven matches.
The visitors recorded their first away win of the season in emphatic fashion, and were ahead after just 15 minutes through Wesley, who struck again on the half-hour mark.
He should have had a hat-trick just before half-time but his penalty – and rebound – were brilliantly saved by third-choice Canaries goalkeeper Michael McGovern.
In the second half, Villa captain Jack Grealish scored his first goal of the season before Conor Hourihane and Douglas Luiz added the shine to the win. Canaries substitute Josip Drmic grabbed a late consolation goal.
When asked about Wesley’s performance, Smith said: “Really pleased, it was a good performance from him, he could have got the hat-trick with the penalty, but he’s a young player.
“He’s only 22, he’s over from Brazil, a long way from his family… and now he’s in the Premier League and he’s got a big price tag on his shoulders.
“But he didn’t play that well last week, he was the first to admit it to me and then I’ve seen him put in a performance that we know he’s capable of.
“The good thing for us is I think there’s still a lot of room for improvement and he can get better.”
The Villa manager added: “He’s one that we’ve watched a lot, we looked at him in January. He’s an all-round player, a Champions League player for Club Brugge as well.
“(He is a) terrific player but all in all a terrific guy as well.”
Norwich boss Daniel Farke said he was disappointed with the result but was unable to blame his players amid the injury crisis at the club.
Speaking after the heavy defeat, the Canaries boss said: “First of all I have to say we are disappointed, it is a tough day without any doubt.
“There were too many problems today and too many odds against us in order to be competitive and for that we are disappointed with this result and it’s a tough afternoon definitely.”
Farke added: “I can’t blame my players too much because when so many key players are out, and there are also so many players on the pitch who had to play without being able to train properly during the last week, they had to play today with painkillers so they were not prepared.
“In addition to that one or two crucial players had not the best performance and when all of this comes together it is no miracle that you are not competitive and you have to accept such a result.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.