By Amir Mir

Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo has praised the loyalty of Brad Guzan, but insisted his stay at Villa Park had to come to an end.

The highly-criticised goalkeeper signed for Premier League side Middlesbrough on Friday afternoon after 170 appearances for the club.

The American stopper produced a wretched performance last season as his side conceded 76 goals and were relegated into the second-tier of English football for the first time since 1987.

However, Di Matteo insists that the American was loyal to the club and gave his best wishes as he embarked on a new journey.

“Brad had a really good time here,” said Di Matteo in his press conference. “He’s been very loyal. As in life, everything has a start and end. We wish him good luck.”

Here is the post from the official Aston Villa Twitter account.

Continuous mistakes, poor distribution and a lack of confidence has led to the American’s downfall, despite being named the club’s player of the year for the 2012-13 season.

It is said Guzan wanted a fresh start after a wretched few years with the club, which has seen his reputation fall alarmingly.

Youngster Pierluigi Gollini will now take the No.1 gloves as manager Roberto Di Matteo plans to win instant promotion back to the top-flight of English football.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, this Villa flop is set to get another chance to earn a Premier contract at a Premier League club.