Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

20.45 20 Jan 2020


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Aston Villa have moved to ease their striker crisis with the signing of Mbwana Samatta.

The Tanzanian forward joins from Belgian champions Genk and has signed a 4-and-a-half year contract at Villa Park.

The 27-year old becomes the first ever Tanzanian player to sign for a club in any of Europe's 'top 5' leagues.

Samatta scored 7 goals in his 20 Jupiler Pro League games for Genk this season and among his 3 Champions League goals was one in the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in November.

Sadly from manager Dean Smith's point-of-view, Samatta hasn't been signed in time for Tuesday night's Premier League clash with fellow strugglers Watford.

Villa have a real shortage of striking options with record signing Wesley ruled out for the rest of the season with anterior cruciate ligament damage.

Ivorian striker Jonathan Kodjia left Villa on Monday, joining Qatari side Al-Gharafa on a 2-and-a-half year deal which pocketed the Premier League side £11million (€13m).

Before Samatta's signing, 18-year old American Indiana Vassilev was the most-experienced remaining striker in the Villa squad.

Smith is hopeful that Samatta won't be the only addition to his forward line in the January window, with a deal for Rio Ave's Mehdi Taremi in the pipeline.

Speaking ahead of that relegation six-pointer with Watford, Smith said a deal for the Iranian striker was close to being done, "Suso [Villa sporting director Jesus García Pitarch] believes the same as well, so it's something we're looking for and looking to press on with as well."

Leicester City striker Islam Slimani - currently on-loan at Monaco - had also been a target for Villa this month.


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Aston Villa Dean Smith Genk Islam Slimani Jonathan Kodjia Liverpool Mbwana Samatta Mehdi Taremi Premier League Tanzania UEFA Champions League Watford Wesley

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