By Phil Jennings
NEW Villa defender Bjorn Engels wants to learn from some of his famous Belgian countrymen as he prepares for his first Premier League campaign.
Engels signed for Villa in.£9million move from French side Reims and is expected to partner Tyrone Mings at the heart of the defence.
And the Belgium Under-21 defender hopes he can emulate some of the top flight’s stand out names while at Villa Park.
He told reporters after the pre-season friendly win over Charlton: “You have Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, and I have looked to them as countrymen – and Vincent Kompany, of course.
“I can only look to them and learn from them. Vincent was very important not only to Manchester City, but to the whole League.
“And I speak to Youri Tielemans at Leicester and Leander Dendoncker at Wolves. I know them from the Belgium Under-21s when I was there.”
Engels says he is expecting to be part of an attacking Villa side this season – something that Chief Executive Christian Purslow highlighted earlier this month.
The 24-year-old defender added: “When I spoke with the manager when joining he told me he wanted to play in the Premier League the same as they did in the Championship.
“Attacking football, that is our style of play. Okay, you cannot compare pre-season with the Premier League.
“But games like Walsall and then Charlton, we have attacked the opposition and I think it’s good. If we can play like this in the Premier League we will be very happy.
“It’s easy to settle with players like Jack Grealish, To give an example, Jack and Conor Hourihane, they are leaders of the team. James Chester as well.
“I really felt welcome as well, like the new players as well. It’s very important to have that feeling.
“They just speak with you a lot, explain to you how important it is to play for Villa and to improve things, not only on the pitch.
“Every player comes to a new club with pressure to improve themselves. I want to play and so do the other new players. For every player it’s different.”