Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) August 18, 2014
New Aston Villa signing Carlos Sanchez has revealed that fellow Colombian Juan Pablo Angel persuaded him to join the club.
Sanchez stated last week, upon completing his £4.7 million move from La Liga side Elche, that he first began watching Villa matches in 2001 because of Angel’s move to the midlands, with the striker’s later goalscoring exploits fuelling his ambition of a future career in the Premier League.
Now, however, the midfielder has also added that he spoke to the club legend prior to his switch, declaring his compatriot an inspiration, after witnessing his 62 goals in 205 games during his seven-season spell at Villa Park.
‘I spoke with Juan Pablo Angel. He said I absolutely had to come and had no doubts,’ he told AVTV.
'I've always followed English football particularly if there has been a Colombian playing here. He was a goalscorer and was very important at this club.
‘I can't really do the same as Juan Pablo because we play in different positions, but he is an inspiration, nonetheless.
'I had a few opportunities from other clubs but when I had the opportunity to come here I had no doubts,’ he added. ‘The most important thing was that the manager wanted me here.
'I've got a feeling this is a family club, I'm looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere in the dressing room.'
Nicknamed “The Rock”, due to his solidity in the holding role, the 28-year-old appeared in four of Colombia’s five World Cup games this summer and, having been compared to Claude Makelele in the past, manager Paul Lambert believes the club have pulled off a major coup with his addition.
‘I think it was well-documented that we were on the lookout for a defensive midfielder and I’ve watched a lot of games of Carlos to see if he fitted the bill,’ he said at Sanchez’s first press conference.
‘After looking at him, even in training this morning, I think we’ve got a proper player on our hands.
‘He’s not done much training since the World Cup but, if you look at the tournament and Colombia themselves, that was a team which captured everybody’s attention with the way they played.
‘And he was really vital to that system, so I know I’ve got a top player on my hands here.’
Asked if the club faced added competition for Sanchez after his impressive summer in Brazil, Lambert agreed that it was possible, but stressed that the determination to get their target was what saw them win the race.
‘If you look at the World Cup, his national team I thought were excellent, and unlucky not to progress further,’ he stated. ‘So we might have done, but he was one I identified and thought could come in to do that job.
‘He’ll do the simple things really well, which is sometimes the hard thing to do in the game of football, but I think he’ll be a massive asset to us.’
Will Sanchez prove a bigger hit at Aston Villa than Angel?