Aston Villa signed Colombia international Juan Pablo Angel from River Plate for a then club-record £9.5million transfer fee on this day in 2000.

The striker arrived at Villa Park from Argentinian outfit River Plate, eclipsing the £7m paid for Stan Collymore in 1997.

Angel was signed having scored 17 goals in 17 games for River Plate, but he initially struggled to adapt to life in England and only scored once before the end of the 2000-01 season.

Juan Pablo Angel

Writing on The Coaches’ Voice website, Angel said: “Things weren’t easy. There is always a normal adaptation process that every player must face, but I went through a difficult personal situation away from the game.

“My wife became ill when we came to England and she spent almost six months in hospital when we had our first child.

“But the league itself had its own difficulties. The language, the weather, the physicality and speed of the competition.

“And, in terms of organisation, the club wasn’t really prepared when it came to bringing in overseas players from our region.”

Juan Pablo Angel

Angel eventually settled in Birmingham, going on to score 62 goals over six and a half years and the highlight of his time at the club came under David O’Leary in the 2003-04 campaign, when Villa finished sixth in the Premier League and reached the semi-finals of the League Cup.

Angel added: “That season, I scored 23 goals in all competitions. The truth is that I didn’t really understand the scale of what that meant in a league like the Premier League.

“It was probably one of the best things that happened to me.”

After leaving Villa in 2007, Angel moved to the United States and represented New York Red Bulls, Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA before returning to his first club, Atletico Nacional, where he retired in 2014.