Well, in news that will surprise absolutely no one, Aston Villa have finally completed signing goalkeeper Shay Given from Manchester City. The 35-year-old Irish national player will be coming to Birmingham to take the place of former keeper Brad Friedel in the 2011-12 season. Neither Manchester City nor Aston Villa have confirmed the move yet on their official site, but press photos have been released by Aston Villa of Given in a new Villa jersey, so that's good enough for me.
I don't think we can really say too much more about Given that hasn't been said yet. I'm not convinced that he's quite at Friedel's level, but plenty of people who know more than I do are. Regardless, we should not to see a significant drop in performance between last season and this one. It's quite comforting to know that no matter what problems Villa have, we have a solid player between the posts. The only issue that poses any worry with regard to Given is a past history of shoulder trouble. But I can't imagine Villa would sign him if that weren't cleared up.
And, in related news, Alex McLeish has finally completed a signing! I wonder if perhaps this will open the floodgates and if we might not see a flurry of moves this week. Heaven's knows Villa are in need of 3 or 4 more players, so we can expect some transfer action soon.
What are your thoughts on Given? Have we netted a great net-minder, or is this a flawed move?
UPDATE: Thanks to Aaron, you can find the gallery of photos here. Contained therein is the fact that Given's contract is for five years. Still no details on payment yet.
UPDATE 2: And it's official, via the Aston Villa site. Hooray!