Eddie Howe praises new Aston Villa signing Tommy Elphick

Bournemouth's Tommy Elphick

The defender completed a move from Bournemouth to Aston Villa last week.

Bournemouth's Tommy Elphick

Speaking to the Bournemouth Echo, Cherries manager Eddie Howe has praised Tommy Elphick following his move to Aston Villa.

The defender completed a £3million to Villa earlier this month, bringing an end to a four-year association with Bournemouth.

He became the first signing of Roberto di Matteo’s reign at Villa Park as they look to build a squad capable of escaping the Championship next season.

Aston Villa's Joleon Lescott, Ciaran Clark, Alan Hutton, Ashley Westwood and Mark Bunn

He arrives as an addition to a defence that struggled last year and was by far the worst in the Premier League in a disastrous campaign for the Villans.

And Howe has told his new club that Elphick will be bring a winning mentality to their team next season.

“Tommy has a real winner’s mentality and that was very evident to me as soon as I started working with him,” he told the Bournemouth Echo.

“He never lost it for a second and was always fiercely determined to do his best at all times. He is a person of great character and an inspiration to all, especially his team-mates.”

Bournemouth's Tommy Elphick

It now remains to be seen if Elphick can help to improve the Villa defence next season, with that likely to prove key to their hopes of immediate promotion back to the top flight.

The teams with the best defensive records last season, Hull, Burnley and Middlesbrough were the ones to win promotion last season, showing how important a strong defence is in the Championship.

Villa will be keen to replicate that next season and will be hoping that Elphick can play a major role after his arrival this summer.

New manager Roberto Di Matteo during the press conference

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