Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of West Brom starlet Finn Azaz to add to their exciting youth ranks.
The 20-year-old joins Dean Smith’s side from The Hawthorns, although the Midlands club have revealed that he has immediately been sent out on loan for the upcoming season to League Two side Newport County.
Academy manager Mark Harrison said: “Finn is a clever, creative, technically astute, attack-minded player, who had a successful loan at Cheltenham last year.
“When we were made aware he was available on a free transfer and discussing possible moves to other clubs, we decided to pursue his signature and we are delighted that he has signed for us.
“With his loan to Newport he will be able to continue his development under the watchful eye of Adam Henshall and Mile Jedinak, who are overseeing our loan strategy and will provide feedback to the first-team coaching staff.”
Having already seen a former West Brom starlet end up at Villa Park in Louie Barry, Smith has now enticed yet another hot prospect from their arch-rivals make the move across.
Last season saw the Baggies sent the 20-year-old out on loan at Cheltenham and he became a regular presence for the Robins as they clinched the League Two trophy and promotion.
Azaz, a central midfielder by trade but equally capable of playing out wide, played 44 times in all competitions last season for Cheltenham, scoring three goals and providing two assists.
As much as Villa should get a ton of credit for the signings of first team stars like Emi Buendia, Ollie Watkins and Emi Martinez in recent summers, their work in landing a bunch of exciting young talents is equally as important and impressive.
Villa’s future appears to be in great hands thanks to their exceptional recruitment at academy level, and it’s exactly why this latest news of Azaz’s capture from West Brom should have fans absolutely buzzing once again.