Tottenham and ex-Aston Villa keeper Brad Friedel earns plaudits from Tim Sherwood

The Villa boss has spoken of his admiration for his former Spurs colleague following the announcement of his impending retirement.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has paid tribute to the soon-to-retire Brad Friedel on the club's official website, hailing the American as “one of the most consistent” goalkeepers the Premier League has ever seen.

Friedel, who turns 44 next week, has announced that he plans to hang up his boots at the end of the season, following a career which has spanned three decades.

The Ohio-native started his career in England with Liverpool in 1997, before moves to Blackburn Rovers, Villa and current club Tottenham Hotspur, where he has been backing up Hugo Lloris for the past three terms.

He holds the record for the most consecutive Premier League appearances – 310, between August 2004 and October 2012 – and has kept 132 clean sheets in 450 top-flight matches.

Sherwood worked with Friedel during his time on Tottenham’s coaching staff and spoke of his admiration for the former US international’s talent and professionalism – traits which made him a fan favourite during his three seasons at Villa from 2008 and 2011.

"It's about time!” joked Sherwood. "I worked with him at Tottenham and Tony Parks was his goalkeeping coach there.

"He never missed a day's training. He was as fit as a fiddle. I am sure he could have gone on next season.

"He is one of the most consistent goalkeepers we have seen in the Premier League."

Before retirement, Friedel also has the chance to become the oldest player in Premier League history, with an appearance in either of Tottenham’s final two games seeing him pass John Burridge's mark of 43 years and 162 days, set with Manchester City in 1995.

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