Tuesday 18 June 2013
Aston Villa have unveiled their fourth summer signing in the form of Denmark forward Nicklas Helenius, who has joined the Barclays Premier League club from Danish Super League club Aalborg BK.
"This is a big opportunity for me, a big dream to play in the Premier League. I've watched Premier League football since I was eight years old"
The imposing 22-year-old striker, who has been runner-up in the scorers' chart in the Danish top-flight for the last two seasons, joins fellow Dane Jores Okore, Dutch midfielder Leandro Bacuna and Bulgarian midfielder Aleksandar Tonev as June arrivals after putting pen to paper on a three-year deal with Paul Lambert's side.
"This is a big opportunity for me, a big dream to play in the Premier League with a club with the history of Aston Villa and I'm very excited," Helenius, who produced seven assists last season and was named UEFA’s Superliga Player of the Season, told the club's website. "I know we have a young team and I know we came through a test last season and got better as a team over the course of the campaign.
"I watched the game against Liverpool at Anfield and was very impressed by the way the team played. As we got more confidence in the game, we became better and better and won 3-1 with some great attacking football."
Helenius added that he is hugely imrpessed by the club's home ground and that he is an avid follower of a league that is very popular in his homeland. "I've been to see the stadium and it's tremendous," he said. "The atmosphere inside Villa Park can be incredible, I know this from watching games on TV from Denmark where the Premier League is really big. I've watched Premier League football since I was eight years old.
"I was so inspired that I used to go by myself to an empty ground in my home town of Godthaab - a town of 900 people - and just kick the ball around, practise the skills and shoot. That was my whole life growing up.
"I thought that maybe when I was 28 or something I might eventually be able to move to the Premier League having made my mark in Danish football but now I have my chance and I think this is the right club for me with all the other young players in the side who want to do well and achieve something together."
"Nicklas is a young lad but also a full international with a good goalscoring record in Denmark and he'll prove himself in the Premier League"
Helenius, who stands 6ft 5in tall and has been capped three times by Denmark, has already played alongside Okore at senior and Under-21 level, and Lambert believes the imposing forward will make an impact in the top tier of the English game.
"Nicklas is a young lad but also a full international with a good goalscoring record in Denmark and he'll prove himself in the Premier League," said the Scot of the striker who scored 16 goals in 33 Danish Super League matches last season. "The opportunity will be there for him, as it will be for the rest of the lads, and he has all the attributes to go and take it.
"He wants to go and make a name and a career for himself and he's made a good start at Aalborg. It's a case of continuing to work hard and building on that and I believe he can. He's a good player and the potential is there for him to grow into the team and grow with the team. He'll definitely be able to give the team a hand."