Cast aside by Aston Villa, Karim El Ahmadi is player of the year as Feyenoord end 18-year wait

Feyenoord's Karim El Ahmadi in action with Manchester United's Paul Pogba

The Moroccan has been a pivotal figure for Feyenoord and the ex-Aston Villa man has been receiving awards since.

Karim El Ahmadi at Aston VillaKarim El Ahmadi at Aston Villa

Dutch side Feyenoord completed a fantastic turnaround after nearly falling into bankruptcy less than a decade ago, by claiming their first Eredivisie title since 1999.

It was a brilliant result for the Rotterdam side, with a former Aston Villa player at the centre of it all.

Tottenham Hotspur's Milos Veljkovic (L) and Aston Villa's Karim El Ahmadi in actionTottenham Hotspur's Milos Veljkovic (L) and Aston Villa's Karim El Ahmadi in action

Karim El Ahmadi was an ever-present in the heart of the Feyenoord side this season. The Moroccan played 39 times for the club this season, scoring five times, and was the lynchpin in the club’s midfield.

The 32-year-old’s excellent campaign has seen him tipped to win the Eredivisie Player of the Year award and he has already been handed that accolade by several top Dutch football publications such as Algemeen Dagblad and Voetbal Inside.

Manchester United's Juan Mata in action with Feyenoord's Karim El AhmadiManchester United's Juan Mata in action with Feyenoord's Karim El Ahmadi

His time at Aston Villa did not hint at such glory. He was Paul Lambert’s first signing at Villa Park, costing around £2 million according to Eurosport. Despite an excellent start he soon found his time at Aston Villa becoming difficult.

He played regularly in his final season at Villa Park but his form escaped him and with first-team chances set to be limited and El Ahmadi homesick he returned to Feyenoord in 2014.

Not many Aston Villa fans mourned his departure but he is now the Dutch top-flight’s best player and has helped his side to a historic title win.

Feyenoord's Karim El Ahmadi in action with Manchester United's Paul PogbaFeyenoord's Karim El Ahmadi in action with Manchester United's Paul Pogba

In the three years since he left Villa the club have been relegated to the Championship and gone through managers at an alarming rate.

No doubt who got the raw deal on this occasion.

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