Aston Villa

Darren Bent says that the capture of goalkeeper Pepe Reina was a “massive” signing for Aston Villa as he delivers his verdict on their survival hopes.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Villa and Tottenham striker says that the Spanish shot-stopper has a big part to play in keeping Dean Smith and his men from suffering relegation this season.

Reina was one of several arrivals at Villa Park last month, with Danny Drinkwater, Mbwanna Samatta and Borja Baston also joining the Midlands outfit.

Bent says that the arrival of the former Liverpool keeper, who has taken Tom Heaton’s place after his season-ending injury, was a significant signing for the Villans.

“It has been a good window because they’ve addressed what they’ve needed,” Bent told Football Insider.

“They’ve got a couple of strikers in, I think Pepe Reina was a massive one, so they’ve managed to sign some good players, they’ve managed to keep hold of some of their good players in Jack (Grealish).

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“They’ve given themselves a real good opportunity this second half of the season but it’s still going to be very, very tough because it’s so tight at the bottom of the table.” 

Reina has played in all of Villa’s Premier League games since his arrival on loan from AC Milan, with Orjan Nyland starting and impressing in the club’s League Cup win over Leicester City.

The Spaniard has 288 games of English top-flight experience under his belt.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that one player has likely featured for the last time at Villa Park.