By Harry Sykes
Defender Ben Swift has agreed a deal with non-league club Margate immediately after leaving Aston Villa, it has been confirmed.
National League south side Margate announced on their website they have signed Swift after he cut short his contract at Villa.
The centre-back, 19, was contracted to the Midlands giants until the end of the season but his stay at the Championship club is over after they decided not to renew his agreement.
Swift suffered a serious ankle injury that required an operation while at Villa and did not make a senior appearance following his transfer from Maidstone United in November 2014.
The young defender had also struggled to force his way into Villa’s Under-23s development team this season and elected to drop down to the lower leagues to play regular football.
Swift was named in Margate’s starting XI for their 2-0 National League South victory against Gosport Borough on Saturday.
— Margate FC (@margate_fc) March 11, 2017
Margate’s coaching staff have said they have been impressed by how much Swift has improved while at Villa and have high hopes he can make a huge impact in Kent.
Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher has revealed in his weekly column that he was delighted when Liverpool’s bid to sign Gareth Barry from Aston Villa collapsed.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, a senior figure has joined the Midlands giants after completing a switch from Scotland.