Monday, July 18, 2011

Shay Given completes Villa move

Aston Villa have completed the signing Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given from Manchester City.

The 35-year-old has signed a five-year contract at Villa Park after the clubs agreed an undisclosed fee.

Given told the club's website: "Aston Villa is a huge club and I'm really excited to be joining. It's a new challenge and I'm eager to embrace it."

Given had been on the margins at Eastlands after City manager Roberto Mancini made England international Joe Hart his first choice.

The Irish international he will make his Villa debut in a friendly against Walsall on Thursday.

He is McLeish's first signing since taking over at Villa Park and the former Birmingham manager believes Given will have a major impact at the club.

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

"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."

Villa defender and Ireland team-mate Richard Dunne is delighted at the prospect of being reunited with Given and told the Birmingham Mail: "He was frustrated over the way things have gone over the last year, I think he just wants to get playing again and he'll be looking forward to it.

"I spoke to him on Friday when he got here and I think he was surprised about how good the facilities and the setup are here at Bodymoor.

"I think it's a good opportunity for Shay to get back to playing football and I think it's one he's really looking forward to."