Real Sociedad
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By ESPN Staff

Petrov is a bargain at £6.5m - McNamara

Stilian Petrov's skipper at Celtic, Jackie McNamara, insists Aston Villa have landed a bargain in the Bulgarian international despite the initial £6.5million transfer fee

McNamara believes Petrov is 'similar to Frank Lampard' and can show the skills and goalscoring prowess he demonstrated in seven years at Parkhead with the midlands club after being reunited with Martin O'Neill.

The 27-year-old, who has signed a four-year contract, is poised to make his debut in Sunday's clash with big-spending West Ham at Upton Park.

McNamara, who now plays for Wolves, said: 'Paying out £6.5million is a lot of money when you look at some of the prices paid out for midfielders.

'Perhaps that kind of money shows how highly he is rated at both Celtic and Villa. Villa will be hoping it's a bargain and there's every chance it will be if he shows the skills and scores the goals like he did at Celtic.

'He will do well for the team. He's got people around him who know him well in Martin O'Neill, John Robertson and Steve Walford.

I think he'll enjoy playing in the Premiership.

'He's wanted to go and play there for a long time and now he has got his wish. I think he'll thrive at Villa because it is what he has wanted. He's one of the best goalscoring midfielders out there.

'If Villa wonder what they are getting, then he's probably similar to Frank Lampard. Lampard always seems to be in there and that's how it is with Stilian.'

Petrov, who could eventually cost £8million with add-ons, will not have the chance to join up with his new team-mates until Thursday at the earliest as Bulgaria are involved a Euro 2008 double header.