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4th Jan, 2017 | 2:58pm

Aston Villa fans react on Twitter as club completes deal for striker

By Matt Farr

Aston Villa have completed the sale of striker Rudy Gestede to Middlesbrough – and fans are sad to see him leave Villa Park.

The transfer was confirmed by Sky Sports who revealed the Benin international had successfully passed a medical at the Riverside Stadium, and joins the Premier League side for £6 million.

It was also confirmed on the official Middlesbrough Twitter page on Wednesday afternoon.

Gestede has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal, which will run until June 2020, and departs Aston Villa less than two years after arriving from Blackburn in June 2015.

The transfer frees up space in Aston Villa’s squad and makes extra transfer funds available for manager Steve Bruce to bring in a new goalscorer in the coming weeks.

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Villa have lost both Jonathan Kodjia and Jordan Ayew to the African Cup of Nations, and the pair will be absent until the beginning of February.

Kodjia is the club’s current top goalscorer with nine goals from 23 appearances and will be greatly missed.

Despite scoring only four goals from 19 appearances this season, many Aston Villa fans claim that Gestede will also be missed, and that they were sad to see the player leave the club on Wednesday.

Here are some of their messages on Twitter:

Middlesbrough are currently 16th in the Premier League after 20 games, and find themselves just four points clear of the relegation zone.

Boro boss Aitor Karanka believes Gestede is the man to bang in the necessary goals to reaffirm their Premier League status, and could throw him straight into the starting line-up when they take on Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

In other Aston Villa news, fans reacted positively to the news that the club had made a bid for Nottingham Forest ace Henri Lansbury.