Philippe Senderos: Former Arsenal and Fulham defender signs for Aston Villa

The Swiss centre-back joins on a two-year deal

Aston Villa have announced the signing of former Arsenal and Fulham defender Philippe Senderos.

Senderos, 29, has agreed a two-year deal that will take effect from July 1.

He becomes Villa manager Paul Lambert's first signing of the summer, with the move announced prior to Senderos' departure to the World Cup with Switzerland on Friday.

Senderos, who has won 52 caps, made more than 100 appearances for Arsenal and joined Fulham in 2010 following loan spells with AC Milan and Everton.

He moved to Valencia on loan from Fulham in January this year.

"I am really delighted to be joining Aston Villa, a great club with such a big history, and for me this is a great step in my career," Senderos told Villa's official website.

"There will be a lot of competition for places with Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker and Jores Okore also very capable Premier League defenders, so it will be up to me to fight for and to earn my place in the team.

"This is a team and a club which wants to do better, I know this, and hopefully we can all develop together and create something special.

"My goal is to help the team keep as many clean sheets as we can and to help drive Villa where we deserve to be and want to be.

"I have come to an age where I've learnt a lot under some great managers such as Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and Ottmar Hitzfeld with the Swiss national team, and I've built up a lot of experience.

"I can develop further and continue to get better and this will be my goal - to continue to grow as a player, to help the team to grow and to contribute everything I can through the season."

Lambert, meanwhile, highlighted Senderos' mental strength and experience with top clubs as being key ingredients behind Villa's move for him.

"He's played for some top sides and was a big influence in Arsenal's run to the Champions League final in 2006, so we're bringing in a really experienced player who's been there and done it, and that will be important for the team," Lambert said.

"I went to Switzerland not long ago to watch the national team train, and I could see he has a good, strong mentality for the game.

"Ottmar knows players, and for him to say that Philippe has never disappointed him on the pitch, that's no small commendation.

"This will be Philippe's third World Cup finals, and there aren't too many players who compete at that level over that stretch of time. He will be a great addition to the group."

PA

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