Aston Villa Make Statement Signing with John Terry Deal
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Aston Villa Make Statement Signing with John Terry Deal

The transfer window officially swung open at the weekend and big-money deals will be the order of the day for the next couple of months, but one of the most intriguing has just taken place – with not a penny changing hands between clubs.

John Terry, who was not offered a new deal by Premier League champions Chelsea, has dropped out of the top flight to sign for Aston Villa.

The 36-year-old has put his name to a one-year deal with Villa, and his leadership and experience were the key factors behind the club’s free-transfer move for the former England international.

“He is worth every penny because we know what he brings,” Villa boss Steve Bruce, who serenaded Terry on the golf courses of Portugal earlier this summer, told the club’s official website of a player who is set to earn a reported £60,000 per week at Villa Park. “It is not often that you get a natural leader of men these days.

“I have watched him from afar for a long, long time and to get him here is a great coup for all of us.”

Terry was not short of offers, with Villa’s city rivals Birmingham also in the race – as were Premier League sides Swansea and West Bromwich Albion.

The defender, who made 727 appearances for Chelsea over a 22-year spell at the club, cited a desire not to play against the Blues as one of the reasons behind his decision to drop down to the Championship.

It is a sensible move for Terry, as the Premier League would have proved too much for his 36-year-old legs to operate effectively in. The Championship will be a better level to play at, even though he is unlikely to be able to take in all 46 games of the season.

Bruce has acquired a defender with boat loads of experience; a player who has shown throughout his career that he is prepared to put his body at stake in the bid to get his side over the line. But Bruce has also acquired a player whose pace has deserted him, and he will have to surround Terry with young legs to ensure he is not exposed.

Terry may not be the force of old, but provided he has the right men around him he will still hold his own at Championship level and it is a statement of intent by owner Tony Xia. It has certainly caught the eye of the bookmakers, as 188BET have the Midlands club as their market leaders for title glory at 8.50.

Terry alone will not get Villa over the line, but if Bruce can make a couple more quality acquisitions they may prove difficult to stop.

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