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50-50 Challenge
By ESPN Staff

Samuel excited by Iranian challenge

Jlloyd Samuel has signed for Iranian club Esteghlal in Tehran and says he looking forward to a new challenge.

Former Aston Villa and Bolton defender Samuel, 30, has signed a contract for the remainder of the current Pro League season.

Samuel was released by Bolton at the end of last season after four years at the Reebok Stadium, and despite trials with Leeds and West Ham in the summer neither club offered him a deal.

It has left Samuel resuming his career in unusual surroundings, linking up with another former Bolton player in Iranian Andranik Teymourian.

"I did have opportunities in England, as well as one or two abroad as well," Samuel told Sky Sports News. "But for myself I wanted a new challenge, and to be able to play in the Asian market as well, and this team is in the Asian Champions League.

"This is a new challenge for myself and I'm looking forward to it."

Despite Tehran's checkered past, Samuel says he is comfortable at present, adding: "I'm here and there doesn't seem to be any unrest, at this moment in time anyway.

"Everything is going well for myself. It's in order for me to play football, and we will see what happens after that. I'm here for a short time, and who knows what's around the corner?"

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