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Sunday 4 December 2016

Sherwood lands new faces for Villa

Published 31/07/2015 | 15:37

Rudy Gestede will be looking to lead the Aston Villa frontline
Rudy Gestede will be looking to lead the Aston Villa frontline
Rudy Gestede will be looking to lead the Aston Villa frontline

Rudy Gestede has completed his move to Aston Villa as Tim Sherwood continues the summer overhaul of his squad.

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The 25-year-old striker passed a medical to finalise his move from Blackburn to Villa Park on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee on Friday, soon after Jordan Veretout joined the Premier League outfit.

Villa manager Sherwood had been looking to bolster his attacking options after the sale of Christian Benteke to Liverpool, and turned to Benin international Gestede who found the back of the net 22 times for Blackburn last season.

The Villa manager said he had long been impressed by the striker, who shone alongside Jordan Rhodes in the Championship.

Sherwood told Villa's website: "I've known about Rudy since he was at Cardiff City and he is a player I've always admired.

"His goalscoring ratio last season was fantastic and he is someone who certainly knows how to find the back of the net.

"He's a big, physical striker but he can play and I'm pleased to welcome him to the football club."

The arrival of Gestede was preceded by the news that French midfielder Veretout had also signed on a five-year contract, arriving from Nantes.

The 22-year-old had been regularly linked with a move to the Premier League, but Villa fought off competition from domestic rivals to land the former youth international.

A regular at the Ligue 1 club, Veretout scored seven times in 39 appearances last season and arrives at the midlands club as Sherwood looks to refresh a squad that finished just three points above the drop zone last season.

"I'm really pleased Jordan decided to choose Aston Villa over the other options he had and opt to continue his development with us," Sherwood said.

"He is only 22 years old but he is vastly experienced for someone that age.

"He has played over 140 games in Ligue 1 and is a really exciting young player.

"I know he is very highly rated over in France so we are delighted to get this deal over the line."

There was further good news for Villa fans as the club announced that defender Nathan Baker had signed a new four-year contract.

The 24-year-old academy product, who has played 87 times for the club since his first-team debut in 2011, said: "I am delighted to sign a new contract here at Villa."

"I am determined to impress the gaffer and get in that side," he added.

"The competition is going to be fierce here at centre-half but that's what the gaffer wants. There's a lot of choice for him. But you can't do well as a club without competition for places."

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