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Jun 5, 2014

Aston Villa sign Philippe Senderos

Philippe Senderos has been capped 52 times by Switzerland, scoring five international goals.

Aston Villa have announced that Switzerland international Philippe Senderos has joined the Premier League club on a two-year deal.

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The former Arsenal and Fulham defender is moving to Villa Park on a free transfer following a six-month spell with Valencia.

The 29-year-old will fly out with the Swiss national side tomorrow to compete at the World Cup after becoming Paul Lambert's first signing of the summer.

"I'm really delighted to be joining Aston Villa, a great club with such a big history, and for me this is a great step in my career," the player told the club's official website.

"There will be a lot of competition for places with Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker and Jores Okore also very capable Premier League defenders, so it will be up to me to fight for and to earn my place in the team.

"This is a team and a club which wants to do better, I know this, and hopefully we can all develop together and create something special.

"My goal is to help the team keep as many clean sheets as we can and to help drive Villa where we deserve to be and want to be."

Swiss national coach Ottmar Hitzfeld -- who was also Lambert's mentor at Borussia Dortmund -- says that Senderos has "never disappointed on the pitch," and the centre-back is ready to use his experience to help the Villans' young squad succeed.

"I have come to an age where I've learnt a lot under some great managers such as Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and Ottmar Hitzfeld and I've built up a lot of experience," he continued.

"I can develop further and continue to get better and this will be my goal -- to continue to grow as a player, to help the team to grow and to contribute everything I can through the season.

"With Brad Guzan in Brazil with the USA squad and Ron Vlaar in the Dutch squad, that's a great deal of experience we'll be able to bring into the new season and, of course, Ciaran and Jores are also playing in their national teams. It's good to have this level of pedigree at the heart of the team's defence.

"I'm also excited to work with Paul Lambert whom I know has a great deal of respect also for Ottmar Hitzfeld and my challenge will be to vindicate the trust he has shown in bringing me to Villa."

Villans coach Lambert marked out the defender's "strong mentality" and experience as key factors for signing him from La Liga side Valencia.

"He's played for some top sides and was a big influence in Arsenal's run to the Champions League final in 2006, so we're bringing in a really experienced player who's been there and done it and that will be important for the team," Lambert said.

"I went to Switzerland not long ago to watch the national team train and I could see he has a good, strong mentality for the game. Ottmar knows players and for him to say that Philippe has never disappointed him on the pitch, that's no small commendation.

"This will be Philippe's third World Cup finals and there aren't too many players who compete at that level over that stretch of time. He'll be a great addition to the group."

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