Joleon Lescott excited to be part of Tim Sherwood's project at Aston Villa

The 33-year-old defender is aiming to add valuable experience to the squad after his deadline day move from West Bromwich Albion.

Aston Villa new boy Joleon Lescott has told AVTV of his excitement at the chance to play for manager Tim Sherwood after seeing how he galvanised the club over the second half of last season.

Lescott, 33, joined Villa from Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion a few hours before the transfer deadline for a reported fee that could rise to £2 million and is now expected to compete with Ciaran Clark to start alongside team captain Micah Richards in the heart of the defence.

A boyhood fan, the former Manchester City centre-back has penned a two-year deal at the club and arrives with two Premier League titles, 256 top-flight appearances and 26 England caps under his belt.

With Villa’s fledgling squad needing some experienced heads, the veteran defender is aiming to become one of the dressing room leaders going forward and believes that, with Sherwood at the helm, things are well-placed to make a push for a top-half finish as soon as this season.

“Apart from Man City – and maybe Leicester – there’s no one else who’s really hit a level of consistency yet, which is probably a good thing for us,” said Lescott. “But the ambition is to just progress from last year. Obviously we left it quite late to solidify our status in the Premier League but I’m sure that, with the way Tim works, that’ll change.

“He’s going to have a whole year in charge to impose his philosophy of playing and the players believe in that, so to get up in the top-half of the table is a realistic goal for Aston Villa.

“With a club of this size and stature, and where they’ve been in the past, I don’t think it would surprise anyone at all if we finished in the top-half.”

Continuing on what he can offer Sherwood’s squad, the ex-Everton man 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.

“It’s perfect to have that blend of both and it bodes well for the club’s future. We have a relatively young manager in Tim, whose enthusiasm has been as important as any player and it’s shown in the performances.

“You can see how animated he is on the sidelines. Speaking to players now, he breeds confidence in the team. His knowledge of the game is second to none and it was an added bonus to work for people like that.”

 2015-16 Premier League TeamErrors Lead To GoalTotal Tackles GAMETackle AccuracyTotal Clearances GAMEHeaders Won GAMEHeader SuccessInterceptions GAMEPassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Ciaran Clark Aston Villa 0 1.5 67% 9.25 5 77% 3.5 78% 4 360
Joleon Lescott West Brom 0 1 100% 5 1 67% 3 90% 2 180
Micah Richards Aston Villa 0 2 75% 6.25 2.75 65% 3.5 84% 4 360

Lescott played 39 times for West Brom after arriving on a free transfer from City last summer, while helping the Baggies record an outstanding 15 clean sheets in his 34 top-flight appearances during the 2014-15 campaign.

That number was only bettered by Chelsea trio John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic but, despite his impressive form at the Hawthorns, it still remains to be seen whether he will prove a regular starter in Sherwood’s side.

Former City and England teammate Richards is currently entrenched in the line-up, while centre-back partner Clark will prove tough to unseat if he can manage to reproduce his stellar form from last season over the coming months.

The emerging Jores Okore and Liverpool loanee Tiago Ilori will also provide strong competition for minutes, leaving Sherwood with a pleasant problem to have once Premier League action resumes after the international break.

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