Aston Villa grab Rudy Gestede from Blackburn for reported £6m


Premier League top 10 shouts Aston Villa (4/1) have further reassured fans that the club are moving on, following the departures of last season’s stars Christian Benteke, Fabian Delph and Ron Vlaar, by further bolstering their attack.

After signing Jordan Ayew from Lorient recently, they have now added Championship star Rudy Gestede to their ranks, with the striker costing a reported £6m from Blackburn Rovers on a five-year deal.

The French-born Benin international, 26, was prolific for Rovers last season, grabbing 20 league goals and 22 in all competitions, out-performing even Jordan Rhodes.

While he is unproven in the Premier League, he has played three matches in the top flight for Cardiff City, although didn’t manage to score. With a lot more experience under his belt, Villa boss Tim Sherwood will certainly be hoping his new forward can get goals.

“I’ve known about Rudy since he was at Cardiff City and he is a player I’ve always admired,” Sherwood said.

“His goalscoring ratio last season was fantastic and he is someone who certainly knows how to find the back of the net.

“He’s a big, physical striker but he can play and I’m pleased to welcome him to the football club.”

It was reported that fellow West Midlands club West Bromwich Albion had also been interested in bringing in Gestede, but ultimately lost out to their rivals.

By joining Villa, Gestede will be fighting it out for a starting place up front with the likes of Ayew and Gabriel Agbonlahor, while the club have also been linked with Tottenham’s Emmanuel Adebayor and Dimitar Berbatov. It remains to be seen if Sherwood wants either of those stars.

One thing for sure is that Villa will be hoping to finish higher than their 17th-place position last term, and they have shown real intent by snapping up Gestede. They are odds-on at 1/5 to stay up this season, or 3/1 to go down.

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