sport

Villa sign Colombian Sanchez

Aston Villa have completed the signing of Colombian defensive midfielder Carlos Sanchez from Elche.

Sanchez has joined, subject to international clearance, for a fee believed to be in the region of 4.7m on a four-year deal.

The 28-year-old, nicknamed "The Rock", made four appearances for his country at this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

Sanchez is Paul Lambert's fifth signing of the summer but is not expected to play against Stoke City on Saturday as he is yet to train with his new team-mates.

Lambert said: "Carlos is a very experienced professional who played a prominent role in a Colombian team which captured everyone's imagination at this summer's World Cup in Brazil. He's a great coup for Villa.

"He does the simple things really well and he's excellent at spotting the danger, dealing with it and keeping it simple.

"His physical strength, too, is something we will benefit from in the middle of the pitch and his role will be a really important one for the team.

"We've beaten other teams to bring him here to Villa and I'm delighted as we needed someone of his ilk to come in. He'll be an excellent player for the club."

Sanchez played for Valenciennes in France for six years before moving to Spanish outfit Elche last summer, but has always wanted to ply his trade in England.

"I'm delighted to be here, it's something I have always dreamed of and it is very important for me to be here at Aston Villa, not only for me but for my family as well," Sanchez said.

"It was always my aim to play in this country and in this league and I know Villa well as Juan Pablo (Angel, his compatriot) also played here.

"I began to watch Villa games when he came in 2001. He was a goalscorer who was very important to this club and I followed his time here because he was always scoring goals.

"Since I was a boy I have always followed English football, particularly teams where Colombians have played.

"When I had the chance to come to this club I had no doubts because I know this is a big club in the Premier League."