Steve Bruce has spoken of his delight at signing John Terry, stressing strongly: “This is a real statement of intent from Aston Villa.”
Bruce spoke to the press after Terry’s unveiling at a media briefing at Villa Park this afternoon.
The boss was in buoyant mood after capturing the talented defender.
He said: “John has certainly go to be the most decorated player in the Championship. He has real calibre.
“We know what he brings. It’s not often you get a natural leader of men these days. But certainly John has been that over many years.
“I have watched John from afar for a long, long time. To get him here is a great coup for us all because of what he can bring to the club.
“I still think he has a lot to offer. It’s a huge acquisition for all of us and sends out a message of intent.
“I know there’s excitement among the lads in the dressing room because it’s not every day someone of John’s calibre walks through the door. That can only help the dressing room.
“The lads will look up to him, especially the younger ones – learn from him, learn how to handle themselves.”
Terry’s arrival today ends a period of persuasion from Bruce to bring the 36-year-old to B6.
He was thrilled – and reiterated how fit Terry is, having watched him work out in Portugal during a short break.
He added: “It was always going to be difficult. We knew that from the outset.
“I had a conversation with Steve Round and Keith Wyness two months ago to see if we could go and make it happen. They both gave me the green light. We beat off a bit of competition.
“I saw him train just over a week ago and, for someone of his age, he’s in terrific physical condition.
“Even when he beat me at golf, he only had half a shandy!
“We are delighted he’s here and he will be a great asset for us.”