Aston Villa have announced the signing of veteran defender Chris Samba, who has penned a one-year deal in the Midlands following a lengthy trial period with the club.
Villans continue to add experience to their ranks
The 33-year-old has been training with the Villans since February, shortly after he became a free agent following his release from Greek side Panathinaikos.
The former Blackburn Rovers defender has been involved in the club's pre-season training camp in Portugal in recent weeks and has also appeared in friendlies against AFC Telford and Walsall, against whom he kept two clean sheets.
Speaking to the club's official website following the announcement, Samba said that he has "enjoyed my time with Aston Villa" thus far and is now "very pleased to continue this association" ahead of the upcoming Championship season.
The imposing central defender went on to say that Aston Villa is a club that he always held "the utmost respect for because of its standing in the game", adding that he "can’t wait to put the shirt on."
Towering defender looking forward to a challenging campaign
"It's a big season", said Samba, who returns to English football for the first time since leaving Queens Park Rangers in 2013.
The Congelese defender concluded by saying that he "will be very happy" if he "can play my part in making it successful", with the club aiming to return to the top-flight since their relegation at the end of the 2015-16 season.
Samba is a man who is well versed in the rigours of the English game having made 185 appearances for Blackburn during a five-year stay in Lancashire, in addition to a further 10 games with QPR during a short six month spell.
The centre-back appeared for Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin prior to joining Blackburn, and has since played for both Anzhi Makhachkala and Dinamo Moscow in the Russian Premier League before most recently playing for Panathinaikos.
Samba's signing comes in the wake of deals for three other former Premier League players with Ahmed Elmohamady, Glenn Whelan and John Terry all making the move to Villa Park this summer from Hull City, Stoke City and champions Chelsea respectively.