Manchester City's former first-choice goalkeeper Shay Given saw his place in the squad taken by Joe Hart in the 2010/11 season. As a result, he's been looking for a new team, and after a year of sitting on the bench at the City of Manchester Stadium he's finally found one: Aston Villa.
The Villans, who had seen their number one move to Tottenham Hotspur earlier this summer, have now officially announced that Given will be joining the club on a five year contract, which will keep him in Birmingham until he's 40. Given, unsurprisingly, is pretty happy to finally get a chance to play again after what was very much a wasted year:
Aston Villa is a huge football club and I'm really excited to be joining. 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
On paper, Given is an upgrade over Brad Friedel, whom he's replacing at Villa Park. WIth Villa losing three of their first choice starting lineup already this summer, their new goalkeeper represents something of a re-birth for them. Hopes are rising the the money earned from the sales of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing will be used to propel the team back into European contention rather than yet find its way into the owners' pockets.
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