Aston Villa has captured its center forward, signing Tanzanian national team captain Mbwana Samatta in its bid for Premier League safety.
Samatta turned 27 last month and has 51 caps with 18 goals for Tanzania. He’s ineligible to play for Villa when it hosts Watford on Tuesday (Watch live at 2:30 p.m. ET online on NBCSports.com).
The fee is reported as $13 million.
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“I’m so excited. It’s a huge step for me and my career. For all the people from Tanzania, it’s a big step for the country as well. Everybody is so on it, they are looking to see one Tanzanian guy who can play in the Premier League. Here today I’m him, and I’m so happy.”
The striker scored 26 times last season for Genk, and has 76 goals for the club since arriving in 2015. He scored against Liverpool and twice versus Red Bull Salzburg in this season’s Champions League group stage.
He spent time with Congolese club TP Mazembe and Tanzanian side Simba SC before that.
Villa’s 22 points are back of the Premier League’s safe spaces, and the Midlands club is a win away from the League Cup final. The semifinal second leg at Leicester City takes place Jan. 28.
🗣️ @Samagoal77_ 🗣️
Watch the first interview with our latest recruit, exclusively on VillaTV! 🙌#KaribuSamatta 🇹🇿 #AVFC
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 20, 2020