Aston Villa sign Lille winger El Ghazi on loan

AnwarElGhazi - cropped
The talented winger, once an Ajax academy standout, will look to kick-start his career after joining the Birmingham team on a temporary deal

Aston Villa have signed Anwar El Ghazi on a season-long loan from Lille.

Capped twice by Netherlands, 23-year-old winger El Ghazi is a graduate of Ajax's feted youth system.

After breaking into the first team, he seemed set for stardom in Amsterdam before a fallout with then head coach Petr Bosz paved the way for his switch to Lille in January 2017.

El Ghazi scored five times in 39 Ligue 1 appearances, but was not part of Lille boss Christophe Galtier's plans for the current campaign.

"Aston Villa is delighted to announce the signing of Anwar El Ghazi from Lille on a season-long loan," the club signalled on their official website.

"The winger is a graduate of the academy at Dutch giants, Ajax for whom he played over 70 times including in the Champions League where he scored against Barcelona in the Nou Camp in 2014.

"Capped at senior international level by the Netherlands, El Ghazi has been with Lille since January 2017.

Also speaking to the website, El Ghazi stated: “I am thrilled to join a football club of the size of Aston Villa.

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“I visited Villa Park late last night after flying in from Holland and it gave me goosebumps.

“I can’t wait to get out there and experience it for real and play in front of such passionate fans.”

The Netherlands international will hope to aid Steve Bruce's bid to return Villa to the Premier League after last season's play-off final loss to Fulham