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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 21 August, 2019
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Aston Villa turn to rivals to boost attacking options for Premier League return

Dean Smith’s side have signed Spanish winger Jota from Birmingham.

Jota becomes Villa's first signing of the summer.
Jota becomes Villa's first signing of the summer.
Image: AVFC

ASTON VILLA HAVE signed Jota from rivals Birmingham City on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee, reuniting the Spanish winger with manager Dean Smith.

Jota was a key player for Smith at Brentford before joining Birmingham in 2017, going on to make 75 appearances during a two-year spell at St Andrews.

The 27-year-old has previously played for hometown club Celta Vigo, Real Madrid Castilla and Eibar, and Smith expressed his delight at having him in his squad for Villa’s first season back in the Premier League.

“I worked with Jota at Brentford,” Smith told the club’s official website. “He’s a superb, talented player and Birmingham signed him as their record transfer.

“I’m really happy to have him back working with us. He’s got great ability, great balance and a great eye for both goals and assists.”

Jota, whose most prolific season in English football came when he scored 12 goals in 21 Championship appearances for Brentford in 2016/17, said: “I am very happy to come and play for a club like Aston Villa.

“It’s important for me to come and play in the Premier League. I’ve been looking for this for some years. I think I am in a good club to play there. This is one of England’s best clubs.”

Meanwhile, 26-year-old midfielder Gary Gardner completed a move in the opposite direction, joining on a permanent contract after spending 2018/19 on loan at Blues.

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