Aston Villa news

Villa complete signing of Given

July 18, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Aston Villa have completed the signing of Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given on a five-year deal and will unveil their new player on Tuesday.

Shay Given
GettyImagesShay Given has been on the bench for Villa

Given had struggled to knock Joe Hart off his perch as first-choice goalkeeper at Eastlands and failed to make a single Premier League appearance last season. The 35-year-old Republic of Ireland international 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.

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

"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 Alex 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."