Aston Villa sign Jota from archrivals Birmingham City
Barrington Coombs - EMPICS / PA Images / Getty

Aston Villa have begun preparations for their Premier League return with the signing of Jota on a two-year contract.

The Spanish winger played for Dean Smith at Brentford, and will now reunite with the manager after signing from Villa's hated cross-city rivals, Birmingham City, for an undisclosed fee on Wednesday.

"He's a superb, talented player and Birmingham signed him as their record transfer," Smith said of his latest recruit.

"I'm really happy to have him back working with us. He's got great ability, great balance, and a great eye for both goals and assists."

Jota bagged three goals and 11 assists over the 2018-19 Championship season as the Blues finished 17th. The 27-year-old's best goal returns in English football were when he scored 11 and 12 in the 2014-15 and the 2016-17 seasons, respectively.

The Celta Vigo product is joining Liam Ridgewell, Emile Heskey, Alex McLeish, and other players and managers who have controversially crossed the divide between claret and royal blue in England's second city.

In the wake of Jota's switch from the Blues, the Championship outfit announced that Gary Gardner's season-long loan from Aston Villa was turned into a permanent move. No fee was disclosed for that deal.

Aston Villa sign Jota from archrivals Birmingham City
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