Wembley hero El Ghazi joins Aston Villa in permanent £8m deal

The Premier League new boys have taken up their option to sign the winger from Lille after his loan spell culminated in play-off final success

Aston Villa have signed Anwar El Ghazi on a permanent basis from Lille after his successful loan spell.

The winger was a key figure as Villa secured promotion to the Premier League, scoring the first goal in the play-off final win over Derby at Wembley.

Now the 24-year-old is set for a long-term future at Villa Park after signing a four-year contract.

Villa have not disclosed the fee involved but it is widely reported they have paid around £8 million ($10m) for the former Ajax player, having taken up their option to buy the Netherlands international.

Villa head coach Dean Smith said on the club’s official website: “Anwar proved to everybody at Wembley how good a player he can be for Aston Villa. 

“He’s ready for the step up to the Premier League and he’s a young player who has an awful lot of potential.”

El Ghazi scored six goals in 34 Championship games last season, and Smith added: “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 is delighted to be staying on at Villa Park.

He has previously spent time in the top tiers of the Netherlands and France, while collecting two senior caps for his country, but is looking forward to testing himself in the Premier League.

“I really enjoy it here,” El Ghazi said after netting in a Wembley showpiece against Derby.

“I love the club and I love the fans.

“This club is amazing and I will be very happy if I can stay here.

“We have to figure it out with Lille but hopefully everything goes well so that I can stay here.”

He has nw got his wish and will be hoping to play a leading role in helping to cement Smith’s side among English football’s elite.

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