‘I didn’t want to leave’: £8.5m man opens up on ‘painful’ Aston Villa exit

'I didn't want to leave': £8.5m man opens up on 'painful' Aston Villa exit

Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

In an interview with HLN, Mbwana Ally Samatta opened up about his time as an Aston Villa player last year.

Dean Smith’s side signed the Tanzanian from Belgian club Genk for £8.5 million in January 2020. (BBC) He signed a four-and-half-year deal at Villa Park, but he barely stayed there for six months.

After just two goals in 16 appearances, Villa decided that he wasn’t the one. Samatta was shipped out on loan to Fenerbache in the summer of 2020 and the Turkish giants made that deal permanent in the summer.

Fenerbahce quickly sent him out on loan to Royal Antwerp in Belgium, where he sat down for an interview to discuss his time at Villa. The striker has revealed that he never wanted to leave the club last year.

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Samatta: I didn’t want to leave Aston Villa

Asked if he regrets leaving Belgium to join Villa, the 28-year-old said: “No. You can put me in a time machine and say: ‘Two months after you leave corona breaks out and you have to sit inside for three months’. I would make the exact same choice. It’s the Premier League, man.

“I actually didn’t want to leave Aston Villa. I thought I could do something for the club. But a lot had changed in a short time. There was a new sports director, as well as a new board.

“They wanted to give the team a new face. And there was no place for me in that. Could I stay? Yes. I just didn’t want to force anything. A footballer doesn’t feel like sitting in the stands every week.

“It was painful, but I had to make the choice. And then came Fenerbahçe. A top team, with top fans. Known all over the world.”

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images,

Villa were right to offload Samatta

Samatta is a decent player who makes defenders’ lives very difficult. It just didn’t work out for him in England, and the last 15 months have shown that Aston Villa were right to replace him as quickly as they did.

Smith signed Ollie Watkins last season and the Englishman has become a huge success in the Premier League. He scored 15 goals and provided five assists in all competitions last term, and is now a very important player for Villa.

The Villans then signed Danny Ings from Southampton at the start of this season and he has been brilliant as well. He could make a real difference for Smith up top in the business end of the season.

It’s safe to say, Villa aren’t really missing Samatta, who has only scored once in 11 appearances this term.

Photo by YORICK JANSENS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images
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