Paul Lambert has spoken of his delight at the impact made by Brad Guzan in the superb survival mission.
Lambert hailed Guzan as "absolutely colossal" as Villa enjoyed a tremendous second half of the term to preserve their Barclays Premier League status.
Villa boss Lambert insisted that Guzan was a major player in the campaign, ever since starting the away clash with Newcastle United in September 2012.
Of course, Villa nearly had to do without him as he was released from the club at the end of the previous term.
But, having seen the performances of Guzan from afar when boss at Norwich, Lambert elected to try and persuade the USA ace to rejoin.
After a conversation in which Lambert promised Guzan a fair crack at the whip, the popular stopper decided to pen a new three-year deal.
And he hasn't looked back since.
Lambert said: "I think Brad has been exceptional. He's been absolutely colossal for the football club.
"I wouldn't swap him. He's a really good guy as well, which is important.
"He's always bubbly and is a good character in and around the place.
"He is just a top-class goalkeeper. He has been really fantastic for us.
"His first game was up at Newcastle and he was excellent there.
"Since then, he has made some massive saves for us in big moments and he's been a credit to the club."
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