Tony Xia comments on Aston Villa's John Terry

Aston Villa's new signing John Terry and manager Steve Bruce during the press conference at Villa Park on July 3, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

Aston Villa pulled off a serious coup in the summer.

Aston Villa's new signing John Terry and manager Steve Bruce during the press conference at Villa Park on July 3, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has told the club's official website that Villa fans didn't quite know how important John Terry was going to be for them.

Xia and manager Steve Bruce pulled off a major coup in the summer by signing the 36-year-old on a Bosman following his release from Chelsea.

In doing so, Aston Villa bagged themselves a defender who led the Blues to five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and a Champions League crown in 2012.

Aston Villa captain John Terry in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough at Villa Park on September 12, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

His influence in West London had been no secret down the years, but Xia suggests that Aston Villa fans should be pleasantly surprised about how important the former England captain - who has started 16 Championship games this season - would be in the West Midlands.

“We were thinking about how to improve. It’s why, when we had the opportunity to bring in John Terry, we tried our very best," he told Aston Villa's official website.

“We know his mentality. His leadership would help a lot, we thought – he’s definitely improved things.

John Terry of Aston Villa looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston North End and Aston Villa at Deepdale on November 1, 2017 in Preston, England.

“John is respected and admired, that’s for sure. For people like John, he has self-discipline. He knows how to affect and help others.

“When he came in, I think a lot of fans might not have had a real sense of what kind of influence he would bring into the club. We can see very practically his influence now.”

Terry has missed Aston Villa's last three games in what will be a 10-week injury layoff, but Bruce's side have coped well, winning all three and only conceding two.

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