Pires completes Villa transfer

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Aston Villa have completed the signing of former Arsenal playmaker Robert Pires on a short-term deal.

The 37-year-old has penned a six-month deal at Villa Park and becomes Gerard Houllier's first signing.

He has been training with the Gunners to maintain his fitness as he searched for a new club and he can't wait to get going in the Premier League again.

"It is very exciting. I am very happy to join Aston Villa because it's a big club in England," he said.

"I am also thrilled to have the chance of working with Gerard Houllier. I know him. I had a good opportunity two months ago to train with Arsenal. Thanks to Arsene Wenger for that.

"Now this move represents a new opportunity and a new challenge for me. I am very happy to start. I can't wait to put that shirt on and play for Aston Villa."

Villa assistant manager Gary McAllister is also delighted to be welcoming the former France international to the club.

The Scot believes Pires will prove to be a huge asset, despite his age.

"He is a proven winner," he added."It gets thrown around a lot these days when people say they are a winner but he is a genuine article.

"He's a European champion and he has won the World Cup as well. He has vast experience and was a fantastic player in the Premier League for Arsenal.

"People thought he was coming to the end of his career but he went to Villarreal and done well there for several seasons."

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