Immediate boost for Gerard Houllier’s injury stricken squad
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Free of any commitment since leaving Villarreal in July, Robert Pires is about to resume his career with the Premier League. According to information from L’Equipe, the former Arsenal player will sign with Gerard Houllier’s Aston Villa team in the next few days. The Birmingham club, 9th in the Premier League, is now decimated by injuries and Pires is a first reinforcement until the winter transfer window.
Aged 37, Robert Pires has been training for several weeks with the Gunners at Colney to keep fit. This transfer sounds like the final challenge of his long career. The former international (79 caps, 14 goals) enjoyed his best days at Metz (1992-1998), Marseille (1998-2000), Arsenal (2000-2006) and therefore Villarreal (2006 – 2010). (L’Equipe)
This would be a very interesting transfer indeed, and the more one thinks about it, the more it makes sense for Aston Villa.
The Birmingham side have an exceptionally young squad, with the likes of Marc Albrighton, Barry Bannan, Ciaran Clark, Jonathan Hogg and Nathan Delfouneso receiving playing time this season, the former Arsenal ace would add tremendous experience to midfield.
In addition, the fact that as a free agent he would be immediately available would be a boost to Villa.
Stiliyan Petrov was lost to a long term injury, and Pires would be a calming presence in midfield – who was also quite a goal threat in his prime.
The Frenchman was never the fastest, but Arsene Wenger has said that he believed Pires could still do a job at the highest level.
An exceptionally intelligent player who lit up the Premier League in his first stint, Robert Pires would be a welcome return to England.