Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) August 15, 2014
New Aston Villa signing Carlos Sanchez has been pictured for the first time with a claret and blue shirt since completing his £4.7 million move from Spanish club Elche.
The Colombian midfielder appeared in four of his side’s five World Cup fixtures this summer, having won 44 caps since his 2007 debut, with his impressive performances also inviting interest from Queens Park Rangers and Everton.
Nicknamed “The Rock”, due to his solidity in the holding role, the 28-year-old spent six seasons in France with Valenciennes prior to moving to Elche last August, going on to make 30 La Liga appearances over the course of the 2013-14 campaign.
Penning a four-year deal at Villa Park, Sanchez has previously earned comparisons to his idol, Claude Makelele, with his arrival a refreshing change to the recent uninspiring additions, as well as a sign that funds are now available to manager Paul Lambert, despite the on-going search for a new owner.
Villa had been chasing Swansea’s Ki Sung-Yueng over the past month to fill the troublesome holding role, before the South Korean international opted to remain with the Welsh outfit, but the tough-tackling South American stands out as a more than suitable alternative.
Lambert was forced to use Ashley Westwood in the position for much of last season, due to the failings of the recently-departed Yacouba Sylla, but the potential signing of Sanchez would free the former Crewe Alexandra captain up to feature alongside Fabian Delph further up the pitch.
That would also allow Delph to assume more of an attacking role in the side, where he was at his best during his breakout 2013-14 campaign, standing out as one of the few bright spots of an otherwise disappointing season for the club.