Roberto Di Matteo explains why Mile Jedinak was one of Aston Villa's top targets this summer

Crystal Palace's Mile Jedinak celebrates after the match

The 32-year-old Australian midfielder joined the club on a three-year deal from Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Crystal Palace's Mile Jedinak celebrates after the match

Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo has revealed that new signing Mile Jedinak was one of the first names he put on his transfer wishlist after taking charge of the club earlier this summer.

Jedinak had been regularly linked with a move to Villa over recent weeks before finally joining the Championship new boys from Crystal Palace on Wednesday for a reported £4 million fee.

The 32-year-old Australian midfielder, who has signed a three-year deal at Villa Park, has previously enjoyed success in the second tier after captaining Palace to promotion in 2013 and Di Matteo is hoping his experience and leadership can also help the claret and blues return to the top-flight at the first time of asking.

Speaking about the Socceroos skipper at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Derby County, Di Matteo said: “I identified him early in the transfer window. He wasn’t available then and we kept asking and eventually we managed to sign him which is really great news.

“Mile has certain attributes that are important to our team and our group. He has leadership, experience, tactical and technical ability – and has good physicality. He has a lot of points that draw me to him. We are pleased to have him.”

Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini in action with Crystal Palace's Mile Jedinak

Jedinak played 179 times for Palace during his five-year stint at Selhurst Park, captaining the club from 2013 until losing the armband to Scott Dann ahead of the current campaign after falling down the midfield pecking order.

Fellow new boys Tommy Elphick and Ross McCormack also skippered Bournemouth and Fulham, respectively, before arriving in B6 and Di Matteo admits that building a new spine of leaders was one of his main aims of the summer.

“I wanted to improve the spine of the team,” the Italian added at his press conference. “It’s something that many managers look at - but you have to identity the right people. I think we have signed some very good players in those positions now.

“We just need a bit of time to work together and gel together and find the right understanding. We are pleased so far on the signings we have made.”

Australia's Mile Jedinak (R)

Whether Jedinak joins club captain Elphick and McCormack in the Villa line-up this weekend remains to be seen, however, as the tough-tackling midfielder was still waiting for his registration with the FA and EFL to be completed just 24 hours before the match due to visa complications.

Barring injury, he will almost certainly start the following Saturday's clash with Bristol City, though, meaning either Ashley Westwood or Aaron Tshibola will be forced to drop to the bench if Di Matteo opts to stick with the current 4-2-3-1 formation as expected.

Crystal Palace's Mile Jedinak at the end

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