Aston Villa

Aston Villa agree five-week deal for experienced former Premier League defender

Championship side Aston Villa have agreed a short term deal for ex-Wales international and former defender James Collins, the Daily Mail have revealed.

Aston Villa have reportedly agreed a five-week deal for Welsh free agent James Collins ahead of the hectic Christmas schedule.

Collins has been training with Aston Villa since December, after he became a free agent at the end of the season upon his release from Premier League side West Ham United. The deal is probably one of the shortest contracts in recent years, but will be ever important at Villa look to carry good form into the Christmas period to boost their hopes of promotion over a frantic run of games.

The deal is expected to be completed and announced either this weekend or in the early stages of next week, making him available for the crunch match with West Bromwich Albion, but not for the game against fellow promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough this weekend.

The arrival of the defender provides some much needed reinforcements for manager Dean Smith, who only has two senior centre backs available in the form of James Chester and Axel Tuanzebe.

The five-week spell proposed is not the first time Collins has played for Villa, representing the Claret and Blue from 2009 to 2012, where he made 108 appearances, scoring six goals from the back.

After leaving Villa Park, Collins moved to West Ham United, where he spent six years and picked up the nickname “Ginger Pele”. The 35-year-old played 214 games for The Hammers in six years, also representing Wales 50 times – including The Dragons’ historic run in the European Championships of 2016.


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