Mbwana Samatta: Aston Villa sign striker from Genk

Villa also keen on Rio Ave forward Mehdi Taremi

Mbwana Ally Samatta USE ONLY ONCE
Image: Mbwana Samatta has scored 43 goals in 98 appearances in the Belgian First Division A for Genk

Aston Villa have completed the signing of striker Mbwana Samatta from Genk on a four-and-a-half-year contract.

The 27-year-old's move is subject to a work permit and international clearance being granted.

Aston Villa are also keen on Rio Ave's Mehdi Taremi as they look to sign a second new striker in the January window.

"I'm really pleased we have managed to bring Mbwana to the club," manager Dean Smith told the club's website.

"He has scored goals throughout his career and I'm looking forward to working with him."

Mehdi Taremi
Image: Villa are also interested in Rio Ave's Mehdi Taremi

Villa made signing Samatta, who has scored 43 goals in 98 league appearances for Genk, a priority following the injury to striker Wesley who has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

Sky Sports News first reported Villa wanted to sign the 27-year-old Tanzania international in July of last summer.

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Aston Villa play Watford in the Premier League on Tuesday but Samatta's transfer was not processed before Monday's registration deadline for him to be involved. However, he will be eligible to play in the second leg of Villa's Carabao Cup semi-final against Leicester on January 28, live on Sky Sports.

Tanzanian pride over Samatta's Villa move

After sealing his move from Genk, Samatta becomes the first footballer from Tanzania to arrive in the Premier League, and tributes have been paid towards the 27-year-old from his African nation.

The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) issued a congratulatory statement to Samatta, who is the captain of his national team: "The federation wishes our national team; Taifa Stars captain all the best at his new club (Aston Villa).

"TFF believes Samatta has the quality to continue prospering and his latest achievement at the top level will continue to open doors for more Tanzanian players to join foreign teams in Europe and other continents of the world.

"His efforts and slogan 'Haina Kufeli [there is no failing] will continue to inspire and carry him high up and we believe for Samatta, the surge to the top is still very on."

Tanzanian Minister for Information, Culture, Arts, and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe told national newspaper Daily News: "The government and all Tanzanians are pleased with what Samatta [Mbwana] has achieved in his football career.

"He becomes the first Tanzanian to play in English Premier League."

Image: Samatta plays as a striker or slightly deeper but likes to occupy wide areas and wins an above-average number of fouls. The 6ft striker has scored all three of his goals in the Champions League this term with headers - from just five shots on target

How to follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

Sky Sports will bring you the very latest news from the January transfer market with the return of three shows.

Start your day with Good Morning Transfers at 9am as our team of reporters bring you the latest news and insight. Transfer Talk then follows at midday delivering analysis of the biggest stories. Then join us at 7pm for the definitive round-up of the day's news with The Transfer Show.

Meanwhile, the Transfer Talk podcast will also be back at the turn of the year with more expert analysis from here and across the continent.

And as well as tuning into Sky Sports News, don't miss a thing with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

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