Shay Given is set to join Middlesbrough on a free transfer after Middlesbrough made a move for the experience Irish keeper. This comes as a bit of a shock since many fans believed that it would be Brad Guzan that would be shown the exit door, but recent reports claim that Guzan might be back in favour next season.
Given was Villa’s first team keeper towards the end of last season filling in for Guzan since the 3-2 defeat to Manchester City. Given did spend time on loan at Middlesbrough two seasons ago where he had a successful loan spell.
This will allow Sherwood to target a new goalkeeper with David Button and Tom Heaton remaining high priority targets after Stoke rejected Villa’s £4 million bid for Begovic in late June. Additionally, Given was on a high wage of roughly £50,000 a week, this will give Sherwood more wage money to spend on new targets as well.
This is a transfer that most Villa fans can get behind, it’s neither good or bad, it’s a transfer where many Villa fans will be ok. Given was signed by McLeish on a 5-year contract and has spent 4 years at Villa, 3 of those Given played as second fiddle to Guzan. Nonetheless, Given did have a superb first season, also played a role as assistant manager to Paul Lambert in the 2013-14 season and his experience did benefit the likes of Guzan, Steer and Siegrist.