Mwana Ally Samatta has become the first Tanzanian to join the English Premier League after Aston Villa signed him on a four and half year contract as a striker. This move comes after a lengthy process of obtaining a work permit and an international clearance for the 27-year-old to join the club.
Taking to Twitter, Samatta expressed elation at this achievement, stating that the move meant a lot to him and Tanzanians at large.
This even as Tanzanians and East Africans at large flooded Twitter with congratulatory messages for Samatta using “KaribuSamatta’’. A section of Kenyans on Twitter, however, confused international social media users as they claimed Samatta as their own.
Samatta becomes the second ever East African to join the EPL, following in the footsteps of Kenya’s Victor Wanyama who joined Southampton in 2013.
Aston Villa, who are the brink of relegation, made the move due to a shortage of players after Brazilian forward Wesley went out for the season with a knee injury and Jonathan Kodjia exited the club.
The club’s manager Dean Smith admitted extra manpower was essential with his team in the relegation zone.
In a statement, Smith said it was something they were talking about all the time, adding that he would have never have let Kodjia depart if there had been any doubt over landing Samatta as a new club striker.