Ray Wilkins has his say on Aston Villa's signing of Tommy Elphick

Bournemouth's Tommy Elphick celebrates scoring their first goal

The 28-year-old defender joined the club from Bournemouth on Monday on a three-year deal.

Tommy Elphick celebrates after Joshua King (not pictured) scored the first goal for Bournemouth

Tommy Elphick will prove a “superb signing” for Aston Villa, former assistant manager Ray Wilkins has told Sky Sports News HQ.

Elphick was officially confirmed as Roberto Di Matteo’s first signing as Villa boss on Monday, joining the Championship newcomers from Bournemouth for a fee believed to be around £3 million.

The 28-year-old centre-back, who has signed a three-year deal at Villa Park, has enjoyed success in the second tier before after captaining Bournemouth to promotion in 2015, and Wilkins believes that experience is just what the West Midlands outfit need in their bid to make an immediate return to the Premier League.

Bournemouth's Tommy Elphick celebrates with chairman Jeff Mostyn at the end of the match

However, with Elphick expected to be just the first piece of the puzzle in a dramatic summer rebuild, the ex-England international wants to see Di Matteo focus on bringing in more British-based talent to give the club the best chance of bouncing straight back up.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, Wilkins told Sky Sports News HQ: “He’s a good signing. That’s a superb signing. Tommy knows all about it down there.

“He’s been with Bournemouth for a long while and got promotion, so he knows what it’s all about.

“I think also it’s got to be British-based. I think anyone you see Roberto bring in will be British so they know exactly what they’re going into week in, week out.”

Bournemouth's Tommy Elphick in action with Aston Villa's Jordan Ayew

Elphick featured 145 times for Bournemouth after joining the club from Brighton & Hove Albion in August 2012, but he only managed 12 Premier League appearances last season due to a long-term ankle injury.

The experienced defender is determined to earn another crack at the top-flight, though, and believes Villa can get back there at the first time of asking with Di Matteo at the helm.

“The Championship is a long, hard grind and there are some really tough games in there,” he told Sky Sports News HQ. “But I’m just excited now. I sat down with the manager and heard his views and can’t wait to get going.

“It’s just exciting for me on a personal note to be working with the manager I’m going to be working with. He’s somebody who’s close to Gus Poyet, who I worked with before and had great success, so the style is going to be something that I’m used to.

"I’m sure once everybody buys into it and we all get pushing together in the same direction from top to bottom then this season should be really exciting for us.”

Bournemouth's Tommy Elphick

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