OTD - 28 July

6 Jun 2018
2000: Alpay joins Aston Villa

Aston Villa strengthened the heart of their defence with the signing of Ozalan Alpay from Fenerbahce.

The centre-back had impressed at UEFA Euro 2000 with Turkey and shone in his first season at Villa Park, helping the club to eighth place in the table.

He forged a formidable partnership with the newly arrived Olof Mellberg the following season, but an ankle injury limited Alpay’s appearances thereafter.

He made 58 PL appearances over four seasons for Villa, scoring once, before departing for South Korean club Incheon United in 2004.

David Ginola, John Gregory and Ozalan Alpay, Aston Villa
Ozalan Alpay, right, pictured after signing for Aston Villa with fellow new signing David Ginola, left, and manager John Gregory
2007: Blackburn swoop for Santa Cruz

Blackburn Rovers added firepower to their attack by acquiring Roque Santa Cruz from Bayern Munich.

The Paraguay international enjoyed an outstanding debut campaign, establishing a reputation for headed goals and scoring 19 times in the top flight to help earn his side a seventh-place finish in the Premier League.

Santa Cruz was at Ewood Park for two seasons before moving to Manchester City, who loaned him back to Blackburn for a spell in 2010/11.

He scored 23 goals for Blackburn and three for Man City across a total of 86 PL appearances.

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