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Thursday, 28 March, 2002, 23:55 GMT
Hitzlsperger commits to Villa
Thomas Hitzlsperger
Hitzlsperger joined Villa from Bayern Munich in 2000
Aston Villa's teenage German midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has pledged his future to the Premiership club by signing a new three-year contract.

The 19-year-old, who was recently handed his first Premiership start by boss Graham Taylor, has committed himself to Villa until the summer of 2005.

The German Under-21 international could have left the club on a free transfer this summer due to a clause in his old contract.

"I have been impressed with Thomas since I took over as manager and the signs are there that he has a bright future at Villa park," Taylor told the club's official website.

Taylor is now hoping to tie up England Under-21 left-back Jlloyd Samuel on a new deal.

The 20-year-old, who made his England Under-21 debut against Italy at Bradford City on Tuesday, has been offered a new four-year contract.

Taylor is keen to get as many of his young players as possible on long-term contracts.

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