Upon joining English Premier League outfit, Aston Villa on a four and half year deal from Belgium side KRC Genk, Tanzanian captain Ally Mbwana Samatta openly expressed the delight to play in the United Kingdom.
Samatta, scorer of 10 goals for Genk in all competitions this season including a goal at Anfield against Liverpool in the Champions League is humbled for the opportunity that he envisages as a person and for the country, Tanzania.
I’m so excited. It’s a huge step for me in my career. It’s a big step for the country too. Everyone was looking for a Tanzanian to play in the Premier League. I know a lot about Aston Villa. I used to watch [Villa’s record Premier League scorer] Gabby Agbonlahor when he was hereAlly Mbwana Samatta
By and large, Samatta is the first Tanzanian to play in the English Premier League and he will await international clearence and work permit issues to be resolved.
He takes this golden opportunity as a complete blessing for the Tanzanian family to watch the English Premier League with their own son inclusive.
“For me, it means a lot. In Tanzania, the people who watch football always watch the Premier League. It will be a moment they’re going to watch one of their own playing in the Premier League for Aston Villa” Samatta was quoted by the media.
Samatta scored 43 league goals in 98 appearances for Genk in Belgium’s top flight.
The move for the 27 year old intelligent striker to Aston Villa is valued at £10m.
He joins the void left by Ivorian lanky forward Jonathan Kodjia who completed a move to Qatar side Al-Gharafa for an undisclosed fee.
Kodjia, 30, would have been out of contract at the end of the season and only made nine appearances in the current campaign, with his only two goals coming against an under-strength Liverpool side in December’s Carabao Cup quarter-final.
Samatta is Villa’s third acquisition of the transfer window following two loan signings – midfielder Danny Drinkwater from Chelsea and goalkeeper Pepe Reina from AC Milan.
Meanwhile, Villa reserve goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic has joined French Ligue 1 club Toulouse on loan until the end of the season.