Thursday, June 21, 2018

Helenius joins Villa on three-year deal; Hannover sign Bittencourt

Aston Villa have completed the signing of Denmark international striker Nicklas Helenius from Danish Superliga side Aalborg BK.

Aston Villa have completed the signing of Denmark international striker Nicklas Helenius from Danish Superliga side Aalborg BK, Sky Sports understands.

Helenius, 22, joins the likes of Aleksandar Tonev, Leandro Bacuna and compatriot Jores Okore on a three-year contract at Villa Park after becoming the club’s fourth new signing of the summer.

Aston Villa will pay an initial transfer fee of £1.2 million — which could rise to £2 million — for the Danish Superliga Player of the Year, who scored 16 goals in 33 Superligaen appearances for AaB last season.

“Nicklas is a young lad but also a full international with a good goalscoring record in Denmark and he’ll prove himself in the Premier League,” said Villa boss Paul Lambert.

“The opportunity will be there for him, as it will be for the rest of the lads, and he has all the attributes to go and take it.

“He wants to go and make a name and a career for himself and he’s made a good start at Aalborg. It’s a case of continuing to work hard and building on that and I believe he can.

“He’s a good player and the potential is there for him to grow into the team and grow with the team. He’ll definitely be able to give the team a hand.”

In all likelihood, the arrival of Helenius will lead to the sale of club record signing Darren Bent, who joined Villa from Sunderland in a deal initially worth £18 million in January 2011.

Premier League newcomers Hull City and Newcastle United are reportedly keen on Bent.

Little has gone right for the 29-year-old England international, in terms of football, over the past 12 months.

However, Bent did tie the knot with model Kirsty Maclaren at Ely Cathedral in Cambridge on Saturday.

Fortunately for Bent, some things are more important than football.

Hannover sign Bittencourt

Hannover 96 have confirmed the signing of midfielder Leonardo Bittencourt from UEFA Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund, according to Sky Sports.

Bittencourt, 19, joined BVB from FC Energie Cottbus on a four-year deal last summer.

The 19-year-old midfielder made just seven first-team appearances for Dortmund last season, tallying one goal and one assist.

Hannover manager Mirko Slomka is delighted with the club’s new signing.

“I am very pleased with the agreement. Leonardo wants to improve his skills in the Bundesliga and we gain a fast and strong attacking player,” Slomka told the club’s official website.

Bittencourt added: “I am a passionate footballer and my greatest wish is to show what I can do. I have a very good feeling Hannover is the right place for me.”

Only Bayern Munich (98), Borussia Dortmund (81) and Bayer Leverkusen (65) scored more goals than ninth-place Hannover (60) in the Bundesliga last season.

However, similarly, only TSG Hoffenheim (67) and Werder Bremen (66) conceded more goals than Die Roten (62).


Shawn Etemadi



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