Mbwanna Samatta signed for Aston Villa in January 2020 on a four year deal for a fee believed to be in the region of £8.5million. His time in Birmingham was short-lived and just 9 months later he was shipped out on loan to Turkish side Fenerbahçe, a club he regards as bigger than Villa.
Speaking to Nieuwsblad than Tanzanian discussed his time at Villa and why it didn’t go to plan with Covid-19 not helping the situation.
“To be honest, leaving the Premier League for the Turkish Super Lig was difficult. That didn’t feel right. But ok, when Fenerbahce comes you don’t think twice. It’s a big club – bigger than Villa.
It’s easy to forget that Samatta started brightly for Villa when he scored on his debut in a 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth. But then Covid hit and the striker was stuck in a country and culture he barely knew.
“It started with corona. That was a little bit **** for all clubs and players but I had just arrived! I had to adapt to a new club, culture and competition – and suddenly everything came to a halt. (It was) a real shame because I had just scored in the League Cup final,”
“When everything restarted, it didn’t go as planned. Not for the team – it was a fight for preservation – and not for myself.
“Dean Smith was ok. I just struggled like many other players.”
The striker who soon joined the Turkish giants on loan with an agreement that the deal would be made permanent in the summer went on to state that the departure of Suso Garcia Pitarch didn’t help his situation either.
“(Suso’s exit) played a part, yes, because his successor (Johan Lange) had other ideas,
“I don’t think anyone saw (my departure) coming. But hey, who knows, I may one day get started again? I still have the qualities for it, I think, and, if that doesn’t work, so be it.
“Playing in the Premier League was a childhood dream. I am so grateful to have been able to play against giants like Man City, United and Chelsea. Unbelievable!” Samatta added.
The 28-year-old hardly set the world alight in Turkey and was labelled a huge disappointment by the Turkish press after scoring just 6 goals in 33 appearances.
Samatta is now starting all over again back in Belgium where he originally made his name. This time with Royal Antwerp although he is yet to make a single appearance despite signing for them in September.