Jurgen Klinsmann backs Brad Guzan to bounce back at Aston Villa

The USA goalkeeper has faced questions over his Villa future since being dropped to the bench during last season's run-in.

US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is backing goalkeeper Brad Guzan to return to top form at Aston Villa next season following a difficult end to the 2014-15 campaign.

Klinsmann was speaking to ESPN after seeing his side beat Gold Cup Group A rivals Honduras 2-1 in Tuesday night's tournament opener, when Guzan produced a solid display to help the 2013 champions begin their title defence with a win.

With Everton’s Tim Howard not due to return from his self-imposed international sabbatical until September, the Villa man has the chance to clinch the team’s number one job for the foreseeable future with an impressive tournament after almost a decade as a backup.

However, while his USA fortunes look bright, things have been less prosperous on the club front of late.

The 30-year-old saw his run of 108 consecutive top-flight starts come to an end after an early blunder in Villa’s 3-2 defeat at Manchester City in April, as Shay Given took his place between the posts for the rest of the run-in.

Also missing out on an FA Cup final appearance, the American custodian has since faced questions over his long-term future at Villa Park as Tim Sherwood continues to revamp his squad ahead of his first full season in charge.

Klinsmann is confident that Guzan will bounce back, though, and even believes that the former MLS star is still improving, telling ESPN: “I think for Brad, after a tough ending of last season, it was tough to swallow.

“But he knew he was going to be our No. 1, so he wanted to come in with all the confidence in the world.

“It didn’t work out with the FA Cup final but he’s over it now and he’ll keep getting better every day.”

 Premier League SeasonGoals ConcededGoals Conceded MINSErrors Lead To GoalClean SheetsSaves GAMETotal Crosses Claimed GAMECross Claim SuccessGoal Kick AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Brad Guzan 2014-2015 48 63.75 4 9 2.97 2.12 96% 52% 34 3,060
Brad Guzan 2013-2014 61 56.07 1 9 2.92 2.71 95% 48% 38 3,420
Brad Guzan 2012-2013 65 49.85 2 5 3.17 2.72 99% 54% 36 3,240
Brad Guzan 2011-2012 8 74 0 1 2.86 0.71 100% 44% 7 592

Villa’s recent transfer dealings could see Guzan handed a second chance too, with Given looking primed to complete a move to Stoke after Mark Bunn was brought in on a free transfer [h/t BBC].

With the former Norwich stopper expected to be the club’s new number two over Jed Steer for the time being, the Chicago-native will likely begin next season back in the starting line-up unless a recent reported target such as Brentford’s David Button is brought in [h/t Daily Mail].

As Villa’s 2012-13 Player of the Year, there should be little doubt about his starting qualities when on form and, if his Gold Cup summer goes well, then the 32-times capped keeper should be filled with confidence upon his return to the Midlands.

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