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Thursday 13 June 2013

Okore and Bacuna sign for Aston Villa

Defender Jores Okore and midfielder Leandro Bacuna eager to get started in Premier League

  • Defender Jores Okore completed his medical at Aston Villa on Thursday

  • Dutch Under-21 international Leandro Bacuna has signed a three-year deal

Aston Villa have announced the signing of defender Jores Okore and midfielder Leandro Bacuna.

Okore joins from Nordsjaelland, who finished second in Denmark’s top flight last season, and has signed a four-year contract with Villa after completing a medical.

“We're a young team and we played some really good football over the second half of last season, which is something we want to build on now as players, as a team and as a club," the 20-year-old told Aston Villa’s website.

"I'm pleased that we've signed a player of his stature"
Paul Lambert on Jores Okore

"I know there is great potential in the team. I have watched many of our games because the Premier League is very popular back in Denmark. I know also that we have a good coach and this is a really good club. This is the right club for me, I feel it straight away."

Okore won the Danish Superliga in 2011/12 and the Danish Cup in 2010/11 and made five appearances in last season's UEFA Champions League. He has played seven times for Denmark and was part of the squad that travelled to Ukraine for UEFA Euro 2012.

"He's only 20 years of age and that's good but he's also an international player at a really young age and he's played Champions League football as well, which is testament to his potential," Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert said. "Jores has played in big games but he's a very humble lad and he will be a really good addition to our team and to our squad.

"I'm pleased that we've signed a player of his stature, for he is someone who can come in and make a huge impact."

Bacuna said that it is a "dream come true" to join Villa after signing a three-year deal from FC Groningen. The 21-year-old made his debut for the Dutch side in 2009 and has gone on to make 126 appearances, scoring 17 times. He has also played 10 times for the Netherlands Under-21 team.

"I look forward to doing my best for Villa"
Leandro Bacuna

"It feels great. It's a new beginning for me, a new step and I'm looking forward to being part of this young, hungry team we have at Villa," Bacuna said. "This is a dream come true for me and also for my parents, who are delighted for me.

"It's a tremendous league to be a part of, the Premier League, and we want to show that Aston Villa can takes its place among the top teams. I'm really excited to come here. Villa Park looks magnificent and the training facilities at Bodymoor Heath are first-class. I'm really impressed with the set-up here and I'm proud to be a part of this club.

"I'm a player who plays box-to-box, I like to run and I look to shoot. Conditioning is a big thing, too, and I look forward to doing my best for Villa."

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Villa midfielder Daniel Johnson has signed a new two-year contract that will keep him at the club until 2015.

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Key Points

  • Aston Villa announce signings of Jores Okore and Leandro Bacuna
  • Defender Okore joins from FC Nordsjaelland, attacking midfielder Leandro Bacuna from FC Groningen
  • Midfielder Daniel Johnson signs a two-year contract