Joleon Lescott discusses his Aston Villa fandom and long overdue move

Villa Park 6

The boyhood Villa fan fulfilled a long-held ambition by completing a deadline day move from West Bromwich Albion.

New Aston Villa defender Joleon Lescott has told AVTV of his excitement at joining the club he grew up supporting.

The 33-year-old centre-back completed a deadline day move from Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion for a reported fee that could rise to £2 million, and is now expected to compete with Ciaran Clark for a starting spot alongside team captain Micah Richards.

A boyhood Villa fan due to his brother Aaron, who was on the books at Bodymoor Heath, the Birmingham-native once had an unsuccessful trial at the club and admits that the move has been long overdue.

“I’m over the moon,” he said. “Obviously I’ve kind of known a bit longer than the public that it was a possibility but to finally get it over the line is great.

“It’s been about 17 years overdue, having come here on trial and being told I wasn’t quite up to the grade, so it’s a special occasion for me and all my family.”

On his Villa roots, Lescott continued: “Aaron was probably the main reason why I fell in love with Aston Villa at such a young age. It’s strange now seeing a lot of the players he played with who are now coaches here.

“It’s an honour to play for a club of this size anyway but an added bonus is that I grew up following the team. It was the era of Dalian Atkinson, Dean Saunders, Andy Townsend and players like that – with the big Muller sign across the front of the shirt.”

Premier League TeamSeasonErrors Lead To GoalClean SheetsTotal Tackles GAMETackle AccuracyTotal Clearances GAMEHeaders Won GAMEHeader SuccessInterceptions GAMEAppearancesMins Played
Joleon Lescott West Brom 2014-2015 0 15 1.68 81% 5.91 2.12 61% 2.15 34 3,060
Joleon Lescott West Brom 2015-2016 0 1 1 100% 5 1 67% 3 2 180

Lescott originally joined West Brom last summer after leaving Manchester City on a free transfer, before going on to feature 37 times for the club in his lone full season at the Hawthorns.

The former Premier League winner, who has 26 England caps to his name, also helped the Baggies record a formidable 15 clean sheets in his 34 top-flight appearances last term – a number which was only bettered by Chelsea trio John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic.

The recent arrivals of James Chester from Hull City and Jonny Evans from Manchester United pushed him down the pecking order at the Hawthorns, however, and cleared a path for him to join Villa after weeks of speculation about a potential move.

Penning a two-year deal as Tim Sherwood’s 11th summer signing, the former City and Everton defender is now hoping to become a veteran leader in the dressing room, as well as to score a few goals for the club rather than against them for a change.

“Obviously that’s the aim”, he added. “The manager was keen to bring in some experience. We’ve got a very young and energetic squad but if I can add a bit of experience and develop the squad over the next two years then that will be great.

“I’ve scored a few against Villa [five] but if I am able to get a goal then it would be quite an amazing feeling. To score any goal is great but a realistic ambition growing up was to score at Villa Park and now that there’s a possibility of that happening is quite exciting.”

It remains to be seen whether Lescott will prove a regular starter in Sherwood’s side going forward given the competition from Richards, Clark, Jores Okore and Liverpool loanee Tiago Ilori but, with his long-held affection for the club, it should not take much for the experienced stopper to become a fan favourite at Villa Park.

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