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Stephen Warnock delivers verdict on reportedly imminent Aston Villa signing Pepe Reina

(Photo by Massimiliano Ferraro/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Aston Villa

Stephen Warnock delivers verdict on reportedly imminent Aston Villa signing Pepe Reina

Stephen Warnock has told Sky Sports News (Monday, 10:15am) that he feels Aston Villa are reportedly set to pull off a “very, very good signing” in Pepe Reina, with the goalkeeper set to join after watching from the stands on Sunday.

BBC Sport confirmed over the weekend that 37-year-old Reina has agreed a move to Villa and will join the club until the end of the season, becoming Villa’s second January signing after Danny Drinkwater – but there is yet to be any confirmation.

Reina joined Milan in the summer of 2018 to act as Gianluigi Donnarumma’s back-up. It has seen Reina play just 13 times in 18 months, only once this season. Indeed, it has seen him jump at the chance to return to England on loan.

The World Cup winner clocked up 395 appearances for Liverpool and he is now set to surpass 400 appearances in England competitions. Asked about his imminent signing, ex-Villa defender Warnock believes he will be a good signing.

“He’ll still be confident that he can make a difference,” Warnock said. “He knows his experience will be key to those defenders. He’ll have probably seen things on the pitch yesterday that he knows he can improve. He’ll want to get his opinion across to the manager because of his experience. It’s a very, very good signing for Aston Villa.”

(Photo by Silvia Lore/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

TBR’s view – Reina could be the difference between survival and the drop

Losing Tom Heaton was an enormous blow for Aston Villa. His experience, especially in relegation dogfights in the Premier League, would have been crucial entering the final months of the season.

Dean Smith could have brought in a young goalkeeper, or one without the experience of Heaton – indeed, Villa were linked with Jack Butland. They could have even decided to keep Orjan Nyland in between the sticks, but he conceded six on Saturday.

But instead, Smith has chosen to keep that level of experience – but also quality. Reina brings both in abundance and a loan until the summer is perfect. As Warnock says, he will be a very good signing. Spanish newspaper AS claims Reina earns £50k a week.

(Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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