Former Arsenal winger Robert Pires is in talks to join Aston Villa in a deal which should be completed before the midlands club face Blackburn on Sunday.
The 37 year old has a free agent since he was released by Villarreal at the end of the season and has been training with Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal to keep up his fitness. Regardless of pedigree, this is a bit of a head scratcher though.
His age dictated his departure from Villarreal in the end but the Frenchman did manage 29 appearances last season and 4 goals. At his age though; is it really worthwhile for Houllier’s men?
Villa have a combination of Young, Downing, Petrov, Albrighton and Fabian Delph flying down the wings usually; players with a lot of speed that produce goals from quick counters. At Pires’ age, how could he suit that style of play?
That said, he obviously knows what he wants to achieve. He could have stayed in Spain, but instead he jumped on a plane back to England and joined the Gunners to get himself back in action and win a contract.
Furthermore, nobody can really argue with the Frenchman’s talent. At Arsenal he was phenomenal, regularly scoring important goals and he’d be a nightmare for any full back. As the winner of a host of honours, he could bring a wealth of experience to Villa’s young squad.
Come to think of it. Didn’t we once question Houllier’s move for an aging Gary McAllister? And what a coup that turned out to be. McAllister scored winning goals against Barcelona in the Uefa Cup and against Everton in a thrilling tie at Goodison. Reds captain Steven Gerrard has since been quoted as saying that McAllister helped make him the player he is today.
I personally don’t see Pires playing much football at Villa Park. Though, he would be a fantastic role-model for the youth players and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him come on and bang in a few free kicks. I think on the surface it would seem like a strange move to make, but when you think about it, it’s a rather savvy move from the former Liverpool gaffer.
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