Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood discusses Joleon Lescott's chances of starting against Leicester

The 33-year-old centre-back is expected to compete for a place in the line-up with Ciaran Clark following his deadline day arrival.

Aston Villa new boy Joleon Lescott is in contention to start Sunday’s game at Leicester City, manager Tim Sherwood has confirmed at his pre-match press conference.

The 33-year-old centre-back joined Villa from West Bromwich Albion on deadline day for a reported fee that could rise to £2 million and is now expected to battle Ciaran Clark for the right to start alongside team captain Micah Richards in the heart of the defence.

“He's fit to start and has an opportunity to start,” said Sherwood. “It’s a decision I need to make near the time. We’ve got a lot of games coming up as well so I need to select very carefully.”

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

A boyhood Villa fan, Lescott has penned a two-year deal at Villa and brings a wealth of experience to the backline and dressing room, with two Premier League titles, 256 top-flight appearances and 26 England caps under his belt.

Sherwood acknowledges that the club are not getting the Birmingham-native in his prime but, even if he fails to prove a regular in the line-up, he believes that his new signing still has a vital role to fill when it comes to matters off the field.

“He's walked in here like he's played for us all of his life,” the Villa boss added. "He's going to be a great signing for the football club. He gives us that immense experience and game know-how.

"We're not getting Joleon Lescott in his prime, we know that, but we're getting a player who was player of the year for West Brom last year.

"He missed the first four games [with West Brom last season] but played the remaining 34, so he knows how to manage his body. He's certainly an influence in the dressing room and on the pitch for us.

“We've signed a lot of young footballers from different countries who don’t really know the competition, and I think Joleon will help knit that group together quicker.”

Lescott only joined West Brom last summer after leaving Manchester City at the end of his contract but the former Everton man made quite an impression in his lone full season at the Hawthorns, as he helped the club record 15 clean sheets in his 34 top-flight appearances.

That record was only bettered by Chelsea trio John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic and suggests that, even at 33, he could well end up proving a bargain signing.

It remains to be seen whether he can unseat Clark from the line-up going forward but, with Sherwood also having Jores Okore and Liverpool loanee Tiago Ilori as centre-back options, it is not out of the question that Villa could go with a five-man defence in some games this season.

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