Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Aston Villa Sign Shay Given

Aston Villa handed 35-year-old Shay Given a five-year contract — weeks after letting Brad Friedel go partly because they were concerned he was approaching his 40th birthday.New Villa manager Alex McLeish finally completed his first major signing to bring the Republic of Ireland international from Manchester City in a £3.5million deal.McLeish is convinced his new signing has years ahead of him as his No 1 keeper.
‘The quality of the player is not in doubt,’ said McLeish. ‘He lost his place last season because of the emergence of Joe Hart, rather than loss of form.‘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.’Given has taken a 25 per cent pay cut from the £80,000-a-week he earned at Eastlands in exchange for the longer deal.He said: ‘Aston Villa is a huge club and I’m really excited to be joining. 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. It’s also a new challenge and one I’m eager to embrace.’

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