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Friday, 30 August, 2002, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
Villa sign Leonhardsen
Oyvind Leonhardsen has joined Aston Villa
Oyvind Leonhardsen has joined Aston Villa
Aston Villa have signed Tottenham midfielder Oyvind Leonhardsen on a free transfer.

The Norwegian international, who was in the last year of his current contract, has been frozen out of Glenn Hoddle's plans at White Hart Lane.

But he has jumped at the chance to resurrect his first-team career at Villa and has signed a one-year contract with the option of a further 12 months.

The former Wimbledon and Liverpool player is the third person aged over 30 to be signed by Villa after the capture of Mark Kinsella from Charlton and Ronny Johnsen - who had been released by Manchester United.

Both Leonhardsen and Johnsen had been on trial at Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04, but had been unable to win permanent deals.

But Taylor has been looking to add experience to what was predominantly a young squad that he has been putting together since he returned to the Villa hot-seat seven months ago.

The Villa chief has memories of Leonhardsen that he would prefer to forget as he was in the Norwegian side which scored a shock 2-0 victory over England nine years ago during his reign as manager of the national side.

But he is looking to Leonhardsen to bolster his midfield department which had been weakened by the recent departure of Paul Merson and George Boateng.

Leonhardsen - like Johnsen - is unlikely to make his debut in Sunday's match at Bolton after his lack of first team games but Taylor is happy that he has now added depth to his squad.

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See also:

30 Aug 02 | Uefa Cup
30 Aug 02 | Liverpool
30 Aug 02 | Darlington
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