Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

N'Zogbia ready to fill Villa void

Charles N'Zogbia

New Aston Villa signing Charles N'Zogbia has said he will have "no problem" stepping into the shoes of recently departed wingers Ashley Young and Stewart Downing.

The pair joined Manchester United and Liverpool respectively for a combined total of around £35million and N'Zogbia - signed as a replacement for a fee reportedly around £9.5m - sees their departures as an opportunity.

"We've lost two good players and we have to recover what we've lost," he said.

"I've been working hard for the last two seasons, and I know I can replace them, no problem, if I'm 100%. I can show people how good I am and what I can do so for me it's a great opportunity."

Despite a long and drawn-out transfer saga with Wigan, N'Zogbia insists there is no animosity between himself and his former club.

"The chairman (Dave Whelan) was happy for me, having played for them for two years," The France international said.

"He said I have done enough for the club and he wanted for me to have a big challenge and find a new club.

"I gave 100% at Wigan and I was really happy there. It was a club that really pushed me. Now I have got a bigger challenge and I hope I'm going to do well."

Villa boss Alex McLeish tried to sign N'Zogbia last summer, while he was in charge of Birmingham City, but the club and player could not agree on personal terms. The Frenchman believes that McLeish's lengthy pursuit of his services will help him to settle in quickly.

"That gives me confidence, and it also shows there's a respect between us. He's a good manager and I can't wait to work for him," N'Zogbia said.

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