A new recruit himself, Shay Given is looking forward to greeting more fresh faces at Villa Park, with Charles N'Zogbia set to be the next on the list of Alex McLeish’s summer additions.

Following the departure of Brad Friedel, Stewart Downing and Ashley Young, new boss McLeish has been charged with having to re-build his Villa squad before the start of the season.

Republic of Ireland legend Given is excited about pending arrival of Wigan winger N'Zogbia and says: “He has had a fantastic couple of years at Wigan and will be a great addition to the squad.

"In the last couple of years, he has really matured as a player and was probably one of their best last season. Hopefully he can continue that at Aston Villa."

Given continued: “He brings a real attacking influence to the team. Defenders don't like playing against him. He's quick and strong when running with the ball and has an eye for goal as well. I think he is a very good player."

Meanwhile, McLeish is hoping his squad can get through the remainder of their pre-season fixtures without picking up any unwelcome injuries.

Villa beat Blackburn Rovers to book their place in the Asia Cup final against Chelsea, and McLeish is delighted his side are treating the competition seriously.


“I suppose you do worry about picking up injuries at this stage,” said McLeish. “But I believe it’s great for the players’ mentality to throw themselves about the way that they do if they come through it unscathed.

“If you pussy-foot about and don’t go into challenges the way you should then you’re more likely to come a cropper. We’ll have to see how they are when the stiffness and the lactic acid kicks in.

“After that when it calms down and you get the ice baths and the massages you can see if there are any little strains.”

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