Aston Villa Transfer Rumours: Why Shay Given Offers the Best Value on the Market
With the inflated transfer fees in European football, great value-signings are difficult to find.
Although the expensive, marquee stars are the main talking points of the summer transfer window, bargain buys and steal-deals can become key players in the new campaign.
With Brad Freidel signing a two-year deal with Tottenham, Aston Villa are without a first-choice keeper.
The Republic of Ireland No. 1 has become a forgotten man at Eastlands with the emergence of Joe Hart, but he is still a top-quality goalkeeper.
Here are the reasons why Given is the best value on the market.
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At 35 years of age, Given is one of the most experienced keepers in England.
The former Newcastle star has been an ever-present figure in club football. In his 12-year career with the Magpies, Given emerged as an elite EPL keeper.
Although the Irishman lost his first-team place for Manchester City last season, he was a key figure in the 2009-10 campaign.
As the Republic of Ireland's most capped player, Given has invaluable experience playing international football.
The Irishman's leadership qualities and veteran experience make him a valuable keeper both on and off the pitch.
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Although Given can struggle with flighted crosses and organizing the backline, he is an exceptionally gifted shot-stopper.
Standing at six-feet, the Irishman does not have the height or reach of most goalkeepers. The former Newcastle star has become an elite stopper with his great lateral movement.
The City keeper's lightning quickness and reflexes make him difficult to beat from in and around the box. Given uses his speed to close down shooting angles and opponents.
While he boasts outstanding reflexes, the Irishman's natural shot-stopping instincts distinguish him as a top-quality keeper. Given's ability to anticipate the shot has been key to his success.
The former Newcastle star may not be the most complete keeper available, but he is amongst the best stoppers in Europe.
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Before the Irishman dislocated his shoulder in 2010, he was considered one of the top goalkeepers in world football.
After an impressive start to his City career and continued excellence in goal for the Republic of Ireland, Given was considered in the same class as Liverpool's Pepe Reina, Manchester United's Edwin van der Sar and Chelsea's Petr Cech.
The Irishman was in magnificent form before his injury, making breathtaking saves for the Citizens. Given's ability to consistently make the spectacular save distinguishes him as a world-class keeper.
The former Newcastle star can single-handedly keep his team in a match by pulling off outstanding saves.
Given makes unbelievable stops with his exceptional reflexes and anticipation. He may not be the most commanding presence in goal, but the Irishman's talent is undeniable.
At 35 years of age, the City keeper still has a few years of top-quality football left. Although he only made one appearance last season, the Irishman has not lost his accomplished goalkeeping skills.
Given still has outstanding natural instincts and world-class ability.
Discounted Transfer Fee
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City values the Republic of Ireland No. 1 around £4 million, which is roughly half the transfer fee they paid in 2009.
Although Given is one of the more veteran players in England, he has the ability and skill to continue playing top-flight football.
With his shot-stopping ability and invaluable experience, the Irishman could still be the first-choice keeper for City. However, Joe Hart's meteoric rise and outstanding form has forced Given into a backup role.
The former Newcastle star did not lose his place due to poor form. The shoulder injury, and Hart's emergence as an elite young goalkeeper, kept him from reclaiming his place as the club's No. 1 keeper.
With only one appearance last campaign, Given has become a forgotten figure at City. He is still a great keeper with world-class shot-stopping ability.
Aston Villa looks set to sign the Irishman for a fee in the region of £4 million, which is an absolute steal. The club could land an experienced, hungry and top-quality keeper for a bargain price.
City's large, talented and expensive squad has forced the club to sell players for discounted transfer fees.
Given has all the qualities to reclaim his place amongst the best goalkeepers in England's top-flight. The Republic of Ireland international is the best value on the market at City's current asking price.
If Aston Villa completes the swoop for Given, he could prove to be the EPL's best summer signing in terms of value.