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Farewell to Reo-Coker and Carew as released list announced
Nigel Reo-Coker on list of released players at Villa.
27th May 2011
Farewell to Reo-Coker and Carew as released list announced


By Paul Brown

Nigel Reo-Coker is among a list of 10 players who have been released by Villa.

The former England under-21 captain, who has frequently deputised as Villa skipper in Stiliyan Petrov's absence, is joined by John Carew, Moustapha Salifou, Robert Pires, and Isaiah Osbourne.

Youngsters Harry Forrester, Arsenio Halfhuid, Durrell Berry, Ellis Deeney and Calum Flanagan have also left the club.

Reo-Coker spent four years in claret and blue after joining Villa from West Ham in July 2007.

He enjoyed a regular berth in his first season at the club, playing in the centre and on the right of midfield.

He figured intermittently in the following seasons before establishing himself as a mainstay under Gerard Houllier in the last campaign.

Norwegian international Carew spent last term at Stoke and is now free to find another club after leaving Villa, but his time in claret and blue will be remembered fondly by the Villa faithful.

Carew arrived at Villa with a big reputation, following impressive stints at clubs like Valencia, Roma and Lyon and he more than lived up to it, producing some terrific performances.

The man mountain finished as leading scorer in three seasons consecutively and won a lot of admirers.

His 2008-09 goal of the season against Stoke was a highlight as well as his hat-trick to turn last year's FA Cup quarter-final against Reading in Villa's favour.

Pires was another who arrived at Villa with a big reputation, although he admitted his best days were behind him.

In the games he did play - mainly as a sub - he impressed, his FA Cup display against Blackburn a particular highlight.

Salifou became a cult hero at Villa without seeing much first team action.

A tenacious midfielder who had arrived from Swiss club Wil 1900 on a 12-month contract in August 2007, he did enough in his debut campaign to earn an extension to his deal.

The chant of 'Sali, Salifou' rang out from the Holte End on many occasions and his star performance came against Slavia Prague in a UEFA Cup win.

He didn't play a part in any Villa games in the 2009-10 season yet Salifou was probably the most high-profile claret and blue player in the press after a gun attack on his coach whilen away in the Africa Cup of Nations with Togo.

Osbourne has remained on the periphery over the past three seasons, with most of his first team action coming away from Villa Park.

After featuring in a handful of cup matches in 2008-09, he enjoyed a brief loan spell at Nottingham Forest, becoming the first signing of Billy Davies' reign.

His next destination was Middlesbrough, where he played nine times during a temporary stint.

Either side of his loan spell in the North East, Osbourne featured on numerous occasions for Villa's Reserve League South-winning second string.

The local lad made numerous appearances for the first team since coming through the youth ranks.

His debut came as a late substitute against Fulham at Villa Park in October 2006, while he showed his talent with an impressive cameo from the bench in a 1-1 draw at Arsenal in March 2008.

Last term he spent a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday.

Reserve and youth regulars Forrester, Halfhuid, Berry, Deeney and Flanagan have also been released.

Check out the list of amazing benefits available with Villa's new season ticket - click here.

 


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