Philippe Senderos Transfers to Aston Villa: Latest Contract Details and Reaction

Stuart Newman@@StuNewmanSportFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2014

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26:  Philippe Senderos of Fulham in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Fulham at St Mary's Stadium on October 26, 2013 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Aston Villa made their first signing of the summer by securing the services of former Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos on a free transfer on Thursday.

As Brian Doogan of the club’s official website revealed, the 29-year-old will begin a two-year deal with Villa on July 1 after being released by Fulham following their relegation to the Championship.

Following his signing, Senderos revealed his joy at joining a club decorated in such rich Premier League history and looked forward to what he hopes will be a promising 2014/15 campaign, per Doogan:

I'm really delighted to be joining Aston Villa, a great club with such a big history, and for me this is a great step in my career. There will be a lot of competition for places with Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker and Jores Okore also very capable Premier League defenders, so it will be up to me to fight for and to earn my place in the team. This is a team and a club which wants to do better, I know this, and hopefully we can all develop together and create something special. My goal is to help the team keep as many clean sheets as we can and to help drive Villa where we deserve to be and want to be.

Such delight was mirrored on Aston Villa’s official Twitter page, where Senderos looked overjoyed to be part of the setup at Villa Park:

A solid defender with Premier League and international experience, Senderos will look to reverse the fortunes of Villa when he touches down in the Midlands in July—hoping to solidify the club’s shaky defence.

As the Premier League table shows, Villa conceded the most goals of all the teams in the division that kept their Premier League status and finished just five points above the drop zone.

Though manager Paul Lambert has a lot of defensive talent at his disposal, fielding Senderos over the youthful, inexperienced Clark, Baker and Okore could see Villa finally establish a stable back line.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 03:  Paul Lambert, manager of Aston Villa looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Hull City at Villa Park on May 3, 2014 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The Switzerland international will fly out to Brazil on Friday to join his World Cup teammates and manager Ottmar Hitzfeld, who worked with Lambert during the Scotsman’s time with Borussia Dortmund.

Hitzfeld heaped glowing praise on Senderos to Lambert, which the 44-year-old said spoke volumes, as Doogan revealed:

He's played for some top sides and was a big influence in Arsenal's run to the Champions League final in 2006, so we're bringing in a really experienced player who's been there and done it and that will be important for the team. I went to Switzerland not long ago to watch the national team train and I could see he has a good, strong mentality for the game. Ottmar knows players and for him to say that Philippe has never disappointed him on the pitch, that's no small commendation.

Though Lambert has failed to make a real impact as manager of Villa since taking the reins in 2012, signing Senderos and looking to establish a team core is the right way to go about making his mark.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

Despite having some talented attackers, including Christian Benteke and Darren Bent, Villa’s defence will be the difference between a solid campaign and a relegation scrap next season.

If Senderos can find the kind of form that made him a stalwart of the Arsenal defence, things could be looking up at Villa Park.