Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) January 13, 2015
New Aston Villa playmaker Carles Gil was reunited with one of his former teammates on Tuesday afternoon upon completing his £3.25 million move, with Colombian Carlos Sanchez welcoming his old friend to the West Midlands.
Joining from Valencia on a deal until 2019, Gil spent the previous two seasons on loan at La Liga rivals Elche, where he lined up alongside Sanchez in the midfield, helping the team earn promotion to the top-flight in 2013 for the first time in over two decades.
Returning to his hometown club this past summer, the former Spain Under-21 international struggled to break into the line-up at the Mestalla in recent months, making just 11 total appearances, but, having earned comparisons to Real Madrid star Isco in the past, manager Paul Lambert is excited about what he can offer at Villa Park.
“We've been on the lookout for a creative player and he will certainly bring that extra element to the side," the Scot told the club’s official website.
"He's only 22 years of age but he will come here and give us something I don't think we have at the moment. He can play either role, coming in off the sides or playing in behind as well.
"He can create chances and get those chances put away. He has a lot to offer and I know we can get the best out of him."
With Villa desperate for a creative spark after scoring just 11 goals in their first 21 Premier League games, Gil will be relied upon to provide service to main man Christian Benteke in the number 10 role, where the club have lacked a first-rate option for some time now.
The diminutive midfielder might take some time to adapt to English football, just as Sanchez did, but at least he will have a familiar face to help him settle into life at the club.