Martin O’Neill has yet again showed his acumen in the transfer market with the signing of Carlos Cuellar. The 6’3 Spanish centre back was sensational for Rangers last season on his way to being named SPL player of the year, and was a major reason why the Gers reached the UEFA Cup final.
At 26-years-old Cuellar should have his best years ahead of him and he comes with a hunger to prove himself in England and to grab a place in the Spanish national team. Cuellar is not afraid to put his head where others wouldn’t put their feet and he is an old-school defender who should relish the opportunity to play a physical game in the Premier League.
An example of the type of last ditch defending Villa fans are likely to see from Cuellar can be seen on this video (at 0.45). (Of course, he was also sent-off for this hand ball against Celtic last season.)
Cuellar’s arrival, alongside one of the transfer swoops of the summer in enticing Brad Friedel to Villa Park, means that Villa start the season with a strong defensive spine, especially if Gareth Barry stays and can dominate the midfield area with Steve Sidwell.
It is no exaggeration to say that if Cuellar can repeat his Rangers form, Villa may have their best centre back since Paul McGrath. And like all good dominating physical tall centre backs Cuellar is also a threat in the opponents area, goals scored by the Spaniard can be seen here, here and here.