Villa manager Paul Lambert today hailed his final recruit to the club’s most dramatic summer of business for nearly 20 years.
Czech Republic international Libor Kozak arrived for £7m to add to the £10m-plus bill for Lambert’s six other recruits during the close season.
The 24-year-old, who was largely ignored for Serie A duty at Lazio last season but made a name for himself with 10 goals in the Europa League, has been brought in to share the goalscoring burden with Christian Benteke.
Kozak, a powerful 6ft 3in front man, arrived as Lambert sent out midfielder Stephen Ireland on a season-long loans to Stoke and sold Barry Bannan to Crystal Palace for around £1.75m.
“We’ve been on this one for the last few months, trying to bring him to the club, so I’m delighted to get it across the line,” said Lambert.
“Libor has an unbelievable scoring record in the Europa League. He wasn’t given much opportunity for Lazio in Serie A but he showed proper potential in leading the line there at a strong club with a great tradition and we need somebody like him as we only have Christian Benteke as a main target man.
“He’ll take that burden off Christian and he’ll add greatly to what we’ve got. Libor’s powerful, too, and I’m looking forward to working with him.”