Mbwana Samatta: Aston Villa sign Genk's Tanzania striker for £8.5m

Mbwana Samatta
Samatta has scored 43 league goals in 98 appearances for Genk in Belgium's top flight

Aston Villa have completed an £8.5m deal for Genk striker Mbwana Samatta.

The 27-year-old Tanzania international has signed a four-and-half-year deal, subject to a work permit and international clearance being granted.

He has scored 10 goals for Genk in all competitions this season including a goal at Anfield against Liverpool in the Champions League.

"I'm really pleased we have managed to bring Mbwana to the club," said Villa manager Dean Smith.

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

Samatta will be the first Tanzanian to play in the Premier League but he won't be available for Villa's home match against Watford on Tuesday.

"I'm so excited," Samatta said. "It's a huge step for me in my career. It's a big step for the country too. Everyone was looking for a Tanzanian to play in the Premier League.

"I know a lot about Aston Villa. I used to watch [Villa's record Premier League scorer] Gabby Agbonlahor when he was here."

Villa have played their last three games without a recognised striker after after losing Brazilian forward Wesley for the rest of the season with a knee injury sustained at Burnley on New Year's Day.

Earlier, Villa forward Jonathan Kodjia completed a move to Qatar side Al-Gharafa for an undisclosed fee.

The 30-year-old Ivory Coast international, who would have been out of contract at the end of the season, has made only nine appearances in the current campaign, with his only two goals coming against an under-strength Liverpool side in December's Carabao Cup quarter-final.

Samatta is Villa's third acquisition of the transfer window following two loan signings - midfielder Danny Drinkwater from Chelsea and goalkeeper Pepe Reina from AC Milan.

Meanwhile, Villa reserve goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic has joined French Ligue 1 club Toulouse on loan until the end of the season.

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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