Aston Villa have officially confirmed the signing of Ritchie De Laet from Leicester City, who now becomes their seventh summer arrival.
It’s been a busy summer at Villa Park, with the club rebuilding the squad after their relegation from the Premier League last season.
While new owner Tony Xia has come in and appointed Roberto Di Matteo, the pair have worked together to bring in Pierluigi Gollini, Tommy Elphick, James Chester, Aaron Tshibola, Mile Jedinak, Ross McCormack and now De Laet.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) August 23, 2016
The 27-year-old has joined on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee, and will hope to build on helping the Foxes win the Premier League title last season before moving to Middlesbrough and being part of their successful promotion from the Championship.
In turn, Villa will now hope to build on their start to the campaign having picked up one win, two draws and a defeat thus far, as they continue to work towards the objective of securing immediate promotion back up to the top flight.
After winning just three games all year last season in what was an embarrassing campaign for all concerned, major changes were needed at the club to avoid further misery.
The club hierarchy and coaching staff will feel as though they’ve done what was necessary in starting afresh with several new faces, many of whom have experience at this level and know what it takes to get out of the Championship.
With leaders, experience and knowledge in the dressing room, there is a different atmosphere at Villa compared to a few months ago, and based on Xia’s activity on Twitter in recent days, a ‘world-class striker’ is still on the agenda for the club.
We’re working very hard 2have a world class 9#striker. Very close to the new full back. Hope both will happen next week! Enjoy weekend!#UTV
— Dr. Tony Xia (@Dr_TonyXia) August 21, 2016
That is likely to be the end of Villa’s transfer market, but supporters will certainly be buoyed by how busy the club has been in recent months with a new-look squad now ready to compete in the Championship and work towards sealing promotion at the first time of asking.