Tanzania captain Mbwana Samatta has joined Turkey giants Fenerbahce from Aston Villa on a four-year deal.
The Taifa Stars skipper became the first player from his country to play in the EPL when he joined The Clarets from Belgian side Genk in January on a four-and-a-half-year deal. However, the adventure didn’t go according to expectations, only yielding 2 goals in 16 outings.
Villa coach Dean Smith has brought in Ollie Watkins from Brentford for an initial club-record £28m fee and Burkina Faso forward Bertrand Troare from Lyon, rendering the East African forward surplus. Nonetheless, the 27-year-old told his new club’s website that he understood how big a club Fenerbahce is.
“I know how big a club Fenerbahce is. I am happy to be here in such a family because it will be a new and big challenge for me. Fenerbahce has a lot of supporters and they always want to win. I also want to win. I came with this request; I am very happy, and I hope we will win many trophies,” he said.
The club also confirmed his arrival on its Facebook page. “Our club has added Mbwana Samatta, captain of Tanzania National Team from England’s Aston Villa team to its team for 4 years.”
Smith left Samatta out of Villa’s 18-man squad on Monday, hinting that the striker was not in his plans for the new season. His Zimbabwean counterpart, Marvelous Nakamba, who has also been linked with a move away, was, however, on the bench. Nakamba joined Villa at the start of the 2019/20 season and had an inconsistent maiden term in the EPL.
“That was just selection. Players who I believe have done well (in training) get in the team,” Smith said.
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By Mthokozisi Dube