Football: Villa sign veteran defender Samba

Anzhi Makhackhala's Christopher Samba (right) celebrates his goal at the Lokomotiv stadium in Moscow, on Nov 22, 2012.
Anzhi Makhackhala's Christopher Samba (right) celebrates his goal at the Lokomotiv stadium in Moscow, on Nov 22, 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Veteran Congo international defender Christopher Samba penned a one-year deal with English second-tier side Aston Villa on Thursday (July 20) after impressing coach Steve Bruce on a trial.

The 33-year-old was a free agent after leaving Greek club Panathinaikos in January and will bring with him a wealth of experience of English football having spent five years at Blackburn Rovers between 2007 and 2012.

France-born Samba has also played for Hertha Berlin in Germany as well as Russian sides Dynamo Moscow and Anzhi Makhachkala.

"I have enjoyed my time with Aston Villa and I am very pleased to continue this association after signing my contract with the club," Samba told the club's website.

"I have played against Aston Villa many times and it's always been a club I have had the utmost respect for because of its standing in the game.

"I can't wait to put the shirt on this coming season. It's a big season as everyone knows and if I can play my part in making it successful, I will be very happy."

Villa have been busy in the transfer market as they look to return to the Premier League having signed Egyptian international midfielder Ahmed Elmohamady from Championship rivals Hull City on Wednesday (July 19).

Earlier in July, former Chelsea captain John Terry joined the Birmingham club on a one-year contract.