Earlier this evening Aston Villa confirmed the first of a two-part deal and announced the departure of former Academy graduate Gary Gardner as he now makes the permanent switch to Birmingham City following his loan spell in the 2018/19 campaign.
Although Gardner never quite got himself up and running with us with his two knee injuries significantly holding his progress back, he’s proven his fitness in loan spells out with Coventry City, Nottingham Forest and Barnsley before joining brother Craig a few miles away.
As part of that undisclosed fee deal, Villa can welcome the arrival of a Dean Smith favourite in the shape of winger Jota.
He too joins for an undisclosed fee and reunites with Smith following their time together at Brentford.
The 27-year-old versatile midfielder joins on a two-year deal having scored three times and provided 11 assists predominantly from the right midfield spot last season.
Speaking to the Official Site Smith said of his first summer capture.
“I worked with Jota at Brentford. 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 himself seems to be happy in winning the fans over quickly.
“I’m very happy to join a club like Aston Villa and I can’t wait for the start of next season. It’s been a long week with medicals and everything else, but it’s great to now be a part of this big club. Becoming a Premier League player was important for me and something I’ve been looking for. This is one of the biggest clubs in England. Everyone knows how big this club is. You can feel it every time you play them. I felt it from the other side of the city in those big derby games. There was a great atmosphere at Villa Park every time and I’m proud to be part of this club now. I’ll take a little more time off now and look forward to coming back and meeting with my new team-mates and the staff and get ready for the Premier League.”
Is there a subtle indication as to the size of his former club in there?
— Matt Lynch (@mattlyynch) June 5, 2019