Pepe Reina returns to Premier League with Aston Villa loan move

Former Liverpool goalkeeper comes in until the end of the season after Tom Heaton injury

 AC Milan goalkeeper Pepe Reina has joined Aston Villa on loan until the end of the season.  Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

AC Milan goalkeeper Pepe Reina has joined Aston Villa on loan until the end of the season. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

 

Goalkeeper Pepe Reina has joined Aston Villa from AC Milan on loan until the end of the season.

The former Liverpool stopper returns to the Premier League following a six-year absence after Villa’s number one Tom Heaton was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.

England international Heaton sustained a knee injury in Villa’s 2-1 victory at Burnley on New Year’s Day.

Reina, 37, watched Villa’s 6-1 home defeat against Manchester City on Saturday from the stands.

The Spaniard could make his debut away at Brighton this weekend.

Speaking to the club’s website, Reina said: “It is a great dressingroom, and I have been told they are great lads.

“Now we need a mentality to be strong and to be ready for a good battle. We need to play with discipline and remain determined. These kinds of things need to be our basics.”

Head coach Dean Smith added: “We’ve managed to secure a player in Pepe who has a wealth of Premier League experience.

“At the start of the summer we were looking for an experienced goalkeeper and brought in Tom Heaton.

“Unfortunately, his injury has ruled him out for the rest of the season but Pepe fits our criteria not just because of his experience but also because of his leadership qualities.”

Reina spent nearly a decade at Anfield before moving to Bayern Munich in 2014. He then joined Napoli after just one season in Germany.

A move to AC Milan followed but Reina has featured just once for the Serie A club this term.

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