Philippe Senderos - a relegation gamble Villa can't afford to take

Philippe Senderos Switzerland 2

Aston Villa have signed ex Arsenal centre back Philippe Senderos on a two-year deal but the signing has to be seen as a gamble…

The 29-year-old Swiss defender signed a deal that will see him play at Villa Park until 2016 after he was released by Fulham following their relegation to the Championship.

He spent the second-half of last season on loan at Valencia and failed to impress during his four-year spell at Fulham.

He lacks pace and was often exposed to counter-attacks without being able to react, resulting in numerous chances for opposing strikers or cynical fouls in his own half.

His stats from last season reflect badly when compared with Aston Villa's Ron Vlaar, who he will likely now partner in defence.

  TeamPosAppsError Lead To ShotPenalty ConcededWon Tackle / appsYellow CardFouls / appsMins
Philippe Senderos Fulham DF 12 2 1 0.67 3 0.83 1,027
Ron Vlaar Aston Villa DF 32 1 0 1.72 4 0.34 2,805

Despite playing 20 games less that the Dutch defender, Senderos managed to concede a penalty, and made one more error that lead to a shot for the opposition.

Vlaar won more than double the amount of tackles per game, and made more than half the amount of fouls per appearance.

These statistics don't look good on Senderos' part, and it is a worry for Villa fans that he will be at the heart of their defence next season.

Robbie Savage has already suggested that by signing Senderos, Aston Villa could get relegated as he took to Twitter after the signing was confirmed.

"Senderos signs for Villa, poor at Fulham before he went to Valencia, hope they don't play a high line, what price on Villa to go down?" Savage said.

The former Arsenal defender does have plenty of Premier League experience to offer, and has made 123 appearances in the top-flight since moving to the Gunners in 2003.

He had a loan spell with Everton and then joined Fulham in 2010, but has never been a dominant centre-half and fails to inject confidence into supporters when watching him defend.

It's a worry for a Villa side who conceded 61 goals in the Premier League last season and only three teams conceded more, all of whom were relegated.

Senderos is now set to play at the World Cup with Switzerland and will not team up with his new team until after the tournament in Brazil.

He will need to show dramatic signs of improvement if the Aston Villa defence is going to be tighter next season, and fans will be hoping that Jores Okore recovers from his 11-month spell on the sidelines to partner Vlaar at the back for the majority of the campaign.

Is signing Senderos a mistake for Aston Villa?

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