Monday, November 28, 2022

Aston Villa Look To 31 Y/O Watford Man As Sam Johnstone’s Replacement: Right Man For Steve Bruce?

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

Reports suggest that Aston Villa are looking to bring in Watford goalkeeper, Costel Pantilimon on loan for the upcoming season. The 31-year-old has completed his loan spell with Nottingham Forest and is due to find himself a new home. If Steve Bruce’s side agrees to pay the veteran goalie’s wages in full, the Hornets might just agree to the move without much hesitance.

Pantilimon had a decent showing with the Forresters in the second half of the 2017/18 season. He appeared in 13 games for the Championship outfit and registered 4 clean sheets. Forest manager Aitor Karanka was certainly impressed with his January signing and is keen on bringing him back for a second stint.

Pantilimon himself stated, “I really like what is happening here. I like the spirit of the club, I like the history and I like the team. I have very good teammates and the staff are good as well, so I hope that I will be here next season and that I can help the team as much as possible for the aims that we have.”

“My heart is open to continue at this club and to work with the manager because I have a good relationship with him and I like the way he is treating the players.

However, Aston Villa could promote a better working environment for the 31-year-old with their ambitious plans of earning promotion to the Premier League. Bruce is set to lose out on Sam Johnstone for the following season and Pantilimon could be the ideal replacement.

The shot-stopper started his professional career with Politehnica Timișoara where he appeared 114 times. His impressive displays for the Romanian outfit earned him a loan move to Manchester City in the summer of 2011 as a backup to Joe Hart.

Pantilimon was signed permanently in the subsequent summer and was allowed to feature in 29 of the Citizens’ senior games. But his career with the Premier League giants ended in 2014 as the Romania international was traded off to Sunderland.

Standing at 6 feet and 8 inches tall, Pantilimon has shown signs of unwavering brilliance during his limited time with City. He might have struggled with game time over the past few seasons but now looks determined to get back to playing regularly.

Read More: Watford Tipped To Make A Summer Move For 24 Y/O Sevilla Keeper: A Wise Move For The Hornets?

Villa will be looking to make another push for Premier League promotion next term and they will need a competent head in between the sticks. Bruce should convince the Bacau-born goalkeeper to choose Villa over Nottingham.

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