EXCLUSIVE

New Aston Villa signing Jota will slot in perfectly into Dean Smith’s side as he looks to make the step up to Premier League football, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Leeds United star and Championship expert told Football Insider that the Villans’ new arrival is exactly what Smith, who worked with the Spanish star during their time at Brentford together, needs as they prepare for a season in the top flight.

Jota arrived at Villa Park from Birmingham City in a swap deal which saw Gary Gardner head in the opposite direction after his loan spell at the Blues and Whelan believes that the 27-year-old is a perfect fit to play in the Premier League under his former boss.

Speaking to Football Insider in an exclusive interview, Whelan said: “He’s a great player, isn’t he?

“We saw when he was at Brentford with Dean Smith, so he knows the player well and I said before that Dean Smith won’t just go out and buy players he does not know too much about – he’ll go out and buy players with the quality he feels can fit into Premier League football.

“He’s a great player, there’s no doubt about it. He’s got pace, he’s got movement, very clever and intelligent player, and he’ll fit into the style of play that Dean Smith wants. You don’t add players that aren’t going to add quality and he’s one player that definitely will.”

The winger played 144 times in the Championship during his spells with Brentford and Birmingham and has just 18 appearances in any of Europe’s top divisions, playing a handful of times for Eibar in Spain’s La Liga during a loan spell from the Bees.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that the club are ready to table an offer for a newly available international powerhouse.