In somewhat of a struggle to sign the former Nantes star, a fee of 1.7 million pounds was agreed upon for his sale on August 6, 2004. After counter-offers from clubs such as RCD Espanyol, Beşiktaş and Galatasaray, he signed a four-year contract with Aston Villa.
His first league match at Aston Villa was made as a substitute for Peter Whittingham on December 18, 2004. For inconsistent periods he was used in the middle as a hard tackling and composed defensive midfielder. After struggling to settle during his short time in England, and a lack of first team appearances, he spent the 2005–06 season on loan at Auxerre. He returned to Aston Villa in the summer of 2006 but in August he signed for Levante UD.