Aston Villa sign Shay Given from Manchester City

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Aston Villa on Monday announced the signing of experienced Irish goalkeeper Shay Given on a five-year contract from English Premier League rivals Manchester City.

The 35-year-old, who arrived for an undisclosed fee, is Villa coach Alex McLeish’s first signing since he succeeded Gerard Houllier at the end of last season.

“Aston Villa is a huge club and I’m really excited to be joining,” Given told the Villa website.

“It’s a new challenge and I’m eager to embrace it.”

“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.

Given joined City from Newcastle United for around 7 million pounds (US$11.2m) in 2009 but has spent much of his time on the bench after City coach Roberto Mancini decided to make England international Joe Hart his first-choice goalkeeper.

The Irishman, his country’s most capped player with 113 appearances, will replace American goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who left Villa for Tottenham Hotspur in June after three years at the Midlands club.

“Shay has come here with something of a point to prove and that won’t do him any harm at all,” said McLeish.

“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.”

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