Express & Star

Aston Villa swoop for Okore and Bacuna

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New-boys Jores Okore and Leandro Bacuna today pledged to lead Villa into a new era after a £5m double deal.

moreThe pair want to turn Villa back into a Premier League force following their moves to England.

Denmark defender Okore has signed a four-year contract after signing from FC Nordsjaelland while Bacuna joins from Dutch side FC Groningen.

Okore, who cost £4m, turned down Chelsea in January and believes he can help end Villa's struggles.

"I want to bring something new to our game and really help the team into a new era. That's what I hope to do," said the 20-year-old centre-half.

"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.

"We have a lot to show and we have a long way to go. We want to get to an even higher level of performance and show people who we are, that we can be a really good team.

"The manager is determined to develop us and to help us become better players, proving to people that we can become a top team. We can get some exciting things going here."

Attacking midfielder Bacuna – who can play a number of roles behind the striker – has signed a three-year deal after sealing his £1m switch and the Dutch under-21 international is excited to play under boss Paul Lambert. "The manager is trying to create a new generation, to build something here and make a lot of young guys show what they can do. I'm up for the challenge," said the 21-year-old.

"For every player who's coming in, it's good to find themselves in a team and an environment such as this. We will get the opportunity to show that we want to play and what we can do. It's always good to try to better yourself."

Lambert will now turn his attention to completing the £2m signing of striker Nicklas Helenius from Aalborg.