Given signs Villa deal

Goalkeeper relishing the opportunity to return to first-team football

Last Updated: 19/07/11 10:03am

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Aston Villa have announced the signing of Shay Given from Manchester City after the goalkeeper agreed a five-year contract.

Villa and new boss Alex McLeish have been looking for a replacement for Brad Friedel following the veteran American's move to Tottenham.

Given quickly emerged as the prime target due to the Republic of Ireland international's limited opportunities at City, where Joe Hart became Roberto Mancini's first choice.

The 35-year-old has consequently been holding talks at Villa's Bodymoor Heath training ground over the past few days and he could now make his debut against Walsall on Thursday.

A statement on the club's official website read: "Aston Villa are delighted to confirm that Shay Given will be unveiled tomorrow (Tuesday) as the club's new goalkeeper, having agreed a five-year deal to June 2016.

"Everyone knows that I didn't play enough football last season, so I'm really pleased that I'll be able to put that right here. Hopefully, this move will get me back to where I was before in the Premier League, which is where every player wants to be playing."
Shay Given Quotes of the week

Talented

"The 35-year-old Republic of Ireland international completed a medical over the weekend and the formality of his signing this morning.

"He will be available for Thursday's friendly fixture against Walsall at the Banks's Stadium and for the club's participation in the Barclays Asia Trophy next week."

Given, who City signed for £7million from Newcastle in 2009, is relishing his new career at Villa and is looking forward to a return to first-team football.

"Aston Villa is a huge football club and I'm really excited to be joining," he said.

"I'm looking forward to training and playing with the players here. They're a good bunch of lads, very talented and I know several of them already which will help.

"Everyone knows that I didn't play enough football last season, so I'm really pleased that I'll be able to put that right here. Hopefully, this move will get me back to where I was before in the Premier League, which is where every player wants to be playing.

Fresh start

"Obviously, I'm also excited to be working with Alex McLeish and it's going to be a fresh start for everybody at the club this season.

"It's also a new challenge and one I'm eager to embrace. My aim is to impress the Aston Villa supporters with my performances and I can't wait really to get started."

Villa manager McLeish said: "Shay has come here probably with something of a point to prove and that won't do any harm at all.

"Everybody who has watched him perform over many years in the Premier League will know his pedigree, so we believe we have secured the services of one of the best goalkeepers in the business.

"He's a real competitor and a world-class keeper and I'm delighted he's the first signing I've made at Villa."

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