Solano completes Villa switch

Last updated : 29 January 2004 By Martyn Elliott

That really doesn’t seem to be much money for a player of his ability, and the only logical explanation seems to be that he wanted to go and the board were more than happy to lose the expense of his salary.

Nobby has now had his say on the move, revealing that wanted to leave because of his limited first-team chances at St James’ Park.

That seems to be strange logic for somebody who has started the last eight matches, but as his contract at Villa is no longer than he had left on his deal at United he obviously hasn’t gone for the money or increased security. Perhaps he feared, with plenty of justification, he would be out of the team again when Lee Bowyer returned or when Craig Bellamy proved his fitness and ousted Kieron Dyer from the forward line.

He told “A transfer to Aston Villa signals a new start and a new challenge. I would like to thank the manager for bringing me to the club and giving me the opportunity to get back into action.

“I would also like to thank the Newcastle fans for their support all this time. They have been fantastic, not only when things went well, but also when we were facing difficulties. Their support was always appreciated!

“Unfortunately the lack of first-team football at Newcastle left me with no other choice, but to continue my career with a different club.”

Some years ago when Nobby was being linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona the thought of him leaving didn’t seem so bad. You could understand it when he said he’d love to play for Madrid, but Villa - surely he is far better than that.

Understandably Villa boss David O’Leary is overjoyed by the news, and why wouldn’t he be?

In a rare moment of non-whinging, the Irishman told Villa’s official website: "We’ve got him at a great price and I’m delighted to have him here. I’m grateful to the chairman for backing me on this.

“I’m also delighted for the fans, who were superb the other night. We’ve brought in a player they will grow to love, I’m sure of that.

"Nobby was a massive hit at Newcastle and I’m sure over the next few years he’ll be a big hit with Aston Villa fans as well."

And one final thought: Solano leaves Newcastle and Parker leaves Charlton - Houllier and Thompson must be absolutely delighted.