Aston Villa have signed Netherlands international Anwat El Ghazi on a permanent transfer after he dazzled during a loan spell in their promotion push last season.
El Ghazi, 24, spent last season on loan from French side Lille and the winger scored in the Championship playoff final as Villa beat Derby County 2-1 at Wembley and were promoted back to the Premier League after a three-season absence.
It is believed the transfer fee for El Ghazi is round $10 million and before a permanent deal had been done, El Ghazi professed his love for Villa: “I love the club and I love the fans. This club is amazing.”
His mixture of pace, trickery and superb crosses made El Ghazi an instant fans favorite at Villa Park and along with Albert Adomah and Jack Grealish he provided plenty of service for on-loan striker and top goalscorer Tammy Abraham.
“Anwar proved to everybody at Wembley how good a player he can be for Aston Villa,” Villa boss Dean Smith said. “He’s ready for the step up to the Premier League and he’s a young player who has an awful lot of potential. It’s now my job and the job of the coaching staff and Anwar himself to fulfil the potential that he undoubtedly has. He’ll be a great addition to the squad for next season.”
El Ghazi came through Ajax’s famed academy but has been a little bit of a late bloomer in his career. He now has the platform to kick on and become a regular in the PL with Villa and his flowing style of play suits Smith’s philosophy, and the players around him, perfectly.
Villa will now be working hard to sign their other loan stars from last season, Abraham, Tyrone Mings, Kortney Hause and Axel Tuanzebe on permanent deals as they aim to keep their exciting young squad together in the top-flight.