MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 29: England defender Steven Caulker (L) battles with Belguim forward Christian Benteke during the UEFA Under-21 Euro 2013 Group 8 Qualifier between England U-21 and Belguim U-21 at the Riverside on February 29, 2012 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Aston Villa have completed the signing of Genk's Christian Benteke on a 4-year deal.
The striker moved for a fee believed to be around £7m, and is one of a string of Belgian players to arrive in the Premier League recently, a fact Benteke acknowledged as one of the reasons for his move: "It was motivation for me when I went to join up with the national team and saw all the players from the Premier League - Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen and Eden Hazard - it made me want to play here.
"But the manager also convinced me this was the perfect move. Aston Villa are a very historic football club and my colleagues on international duty have said good things about the football here in England.
"I am looking forward to getting my career started in the Premier League. I am a striker and I can play with my back to the goal. I can also play behind the striker and I am good in the air.
"I know Darren Bent is a great striker and I want to play with him and work hard for the team.
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert was also pleased to make the signing, stating: "Christian is only 21 years of age but already he's an established Belgian international and he's had a terrific time at Genk. He's something very different to what we have here and that added dimension will enhance the football club.
"We're stronger now as a unit and we're trying to build step by step. This is an important step. I believe in the players I have here that they can go and perform."