Aleksandar Tonev

Aleksandar Tonev
Date of Birth:
5' 10" (178cm)
10st 12lbs (69.0kg)
Previous Clubs:
CSKA Sofia, CSKA Sofia

Aleksandar Tonev became Villa's first signing of summer 2013 when he completed a transfer from Polish club Lech Poznan.

The 23-year-old attacking midfielder knew all about Villa through former club captain Stiliyan Petrov, who he lined up alongside when he made his debut for Bulgaria in October 2011.

Tonev began his career at CSKA Sofia.

He made his debut as an 18-year-old, coming on as a substitute against Belasitsa Petrich in March 2008, playing twice that season as CSKA won the league.

He went out on loan in 2008-09 to Sliven 2000 but returned to Sofia in 2010-11.

He played 23 games in the league that season, as well as eight times his club's Europa League campaign and three times in the Bulgarian Cup-winning campaign.

Tonev's performances in 2010-11 were recognised by his fellow professionals when he won the Bulgarian Footballers' Young Player of the Year 2010-11 aged 21, after being voted into third place in 2008-09 aged 19.

His performances for CSKA earned him a move to Polish club Lech Poznan following the 2010-11 season.

Tonev played 27 times for Lech in 2011-12, starting 17 games and scoring three goals.

He started 22 games the following season, coming on in another four, and scored four goals as Lech finished second in the league.

He played in all of the Europa League qualifying games for Lech in 2012-13 and scored once, in the home leg against Xäzär Länkäran of Azerbaijan.

Tonev has also played 11 times for the Bulgarian national team, after playing 15 times for the under-21s.

Lining up alongside former Villa and Bulgaria captain Petrov, he made his debut against Wales in October 2011 in Sofia.

Tonev scored his first goals for his country against Malta in March 2013, going on to complete his first professional hat-trick.

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