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El Ahmadi relishing "dictating games" after completing move to Villa
Karim El Ahmadi becomes Paul Lambert's first signing.
2nd Jul 2012
El Ahmadi relishing "dictating games" after completing move to Villa


Karim El Ahmadi is looking forward to "dictating games" from the centre of midfield after completing a move from Dutch Eredivisie runners-up Feyenoord.

The 27-year-old Moroccan international has signed a three-year deal which will take him up to the end of the 2014-15 season at Villa.

He is new manager Paul Lambert's first signing and the Villa boss is "looking forward to working with him" when he reports for pre-season training with the rest of the Villa squad on Thursday.

El Ahmadi was recognised as one of the top players in Holland's Eredivisie last season and, having been one of the driving forces behind an impressive season for Feyenoord in which they secured a Champions League place, he is ready to embrace the challenge of making a similar impact for Villa in the Premier League.

"I'm very excited about coming here to a massive club and I'm looking forward to playing here," he said.

"I'm very happy that the manager wants me and that the club wants me and I'm looking forward to starting training again.

"It's nice that I am the manager's first transfer and I am looking forward to doing good things with the team and with the club this year.

"This club should be competing in the top half of the table and I am looking forward to achieving that with the team.

"It was always a dream of mine to play in the Premier League. We played a lot on Sundays in Holland, so I was able to watch all of the games on Saturday and I think this is the best league in the world. It will be a challenge to show people what I can do.

"Last year was successful for me and for Feyenoord - we qualified for the Champions League - but sometimes in life you have to make choices.

"I came to this club and spoke to the people here and they gave me great confidence in what we can do this year, so I have chosen to come.

"As a player, I always want to have the ball and that is my main quality. I always want the ball and to dictate the game. That's what I did at Feyenoord and hopefully I can show the fans, the club and the manager my quality."

El Ahmadi is excited, too, by the prospect of linking up with Australian wide midfield player and fellow new arrival Brett Holman, a player El Ahmadi rated as one of the top exponents during his time at Alkmaar.

"I've played against Brett a lot of times, not only when he was at AZ but when he was younger he played at Feyenoord," El Ahmadi added.

"He's a great player and it's good for him, too, to come to a club like this and to make a step up.

"In Holland he showed his quality and now it's good to have him next to me. He's a great player to play with and he never gives up - I don't think I ever saw him standing still on the pitch."

El Ahmadi's quality and work ethic were key in the Villa manager's assessment of his first signing.

"Karim will help the team, I have no doubt about that," said Lambert.

"He's a really good footballer and he's played well in a good team, a big team, and I'm looking forward to working with him.

"In fact, I'm really looking forward to getting things going on Thursday when the lads will report back for pre-season."

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