Aston Villa secure Karim El Ahmadi signing from Feyenoord

The Moroccan international is excited at his move to England despite missing out on the Rotterdam club' Champions League place, and hailed fellow midfielder Brett Holman's arrival
Aston Villa’s newly signed midfielder Karim El Ahmadi said he looked forward to dictating games in the Premier League after completing a move from Feyenoord.


El Ahmadi, 27, arrived at Feyenoord four years ago from Twente for 5 million. Last season in Rotterdam was his best to date. He was a key player in Ronald Koeman's side that finished second in the Eredivisie

He is very creative and technical. However, in 94 matches he scored just four times, so he's not a goal getter, but he was often involved in setting up assists for team-mates.

In 2010-1,1 he played for Al Ahly in Dubai on loan after he became too expensive a luxury for Feyenoord, and the club hoped that Al Ahly would buy him at the end of the loan deal.

But they didn't, and it eventually worked out great for Feyenoord.
The 27-year-old midfielder is new manager Paul Lambert’s first signing in charge at the Birmingham club, and signed a three-year deal which runs until summer 2015.

"I'm very excited about coming here to a massive club and I'm looking forward to playing here," he told the club’s official website.

"I'm very happy that the manager wants me and that the club wants me and I'm looking forward to starting training again.

"It's nice that I am the manager's first transfer and I am looking forward to doing good things with the team and with the club this year.

"This club should be competing in the top half of the table and I am looking forward to achieving that with the team."

The Morocco international made 31 appearances last season to help the Rotterdam outfit finish runners-up in the Eredivisie and qualify for the Champions League.

He went on to explain why he relished the opportunity to move to the England despite leaving behind the opportunity of Champions League football.

"It was always a dream of mine to play in the Premier League,” he continued.

“We played a lot on Sundays in Holland, so I was able to watch all of the games on Saturday and I think this is the best league in the world. It will be a challenge to show people what I can do.

"Last year was successful for me and for Feyenoord - we qualified for the Champions League - but sometimes in life you have to make choices.

"I came to this club and spoke to the people here and they gave me great confidence in what we can do this year, so I have chosen to come."

"As a player, I always want to have the ball and that is my main quality. I always want the ball and to dictate the game. That's what I did at Feyenoord and hopefully I can show the fans, the club and the manager my quality."

The playmaker also paid tribute to Australia international Brett Holman, his fellow arrival this summer who completed a move from AZ Alkmaar in March.

"I've played against Brett a lot of times, not only when he was at AZ but when he was younger he played at Feyenoord," he added.

"He's a great player and it's good for him, too, to come to a club like this and to make a step up.

"In Holland he showed his quality and now it's good to have him next to me. He's a great player to play with and he never gives up - I don't think I ever saw him standing still on the pitch."

Paul Lambert last season guided Norwich to survival above a Villa side who struggled this season amid injuries to key players Darren Bent and Richard Dunne as well as the serious illness of captain Stiliyan Petrov, and dismissed manager Alex McLeish.

The Scottish manager will hope the pair can lessen the side’s reliance on youthful players in midfield such as Chris Herd, Barry Bannan, Ciaran Clark, and Marc Albrighton.

"Karim will help the team, I have no doubt about that," he commented.

"He's a really good footballer and he's played well in a good team, a big team, and I'm looking forward to working with him.

"I'm really looking forward to getting things going on Thursday when the lads will report back for pre-season."