By Russ Vernon
Leeds United have completed the signing of Aston Villa left back Stephen Warnock. The experienced defender completed his medical at Thorp Arch and will meet his new team-mates for the first time on Friday.
The 31-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year deal at Elland Road. On Signing the Stephen Warnock manager Neil Warnock has said: "I'm absolutely delighted again. Stephen has the experience I think we need in that position. He is a former international who, for whatever reason, has been allowed to leave Aston Villa. He's a player I've tried to sign a few times before and I'm pleased he turned down West Ham to come here."
After signing his deal Stephen Warnock has said: "I wasn't needed at Villa, we'd had a couple of calls of interest and Villa said I was free to speak to clubs," explained Stephen.
"Leeds offered me a contract and at first it was a shorter term contract, but I was on my way to West Ham earlier in the week and Leeds came back in and really made me feel wanted. There were a couple
of clubs interested, but when you see the size of Leeds and the magnitude of the club there's only one choice, and once I'd spoken to the manager I knew I wanted to come. Obviously I've not been playing at Villa, and when you have a manager who wants you to play and has confidence in you it's nice to hear."
"I haven't come here to be a Championship player and I'm sure Steve Morison is the same," said Stephen. "I played against him last year, he's a very powerful player and I'm sure he's the sort Leeds fans will like to see. When you look at the position at the moment, a couple of wins throws you into the promotion chase. The new signings will hopefully lift the squad a little bit because that usually happens. Leeds is a huge club and we want to take it back to the Premier League. It's a strong squad here. You look back at the QPR and Sheffield United teams the manager assembled. They were tough teams who knew how to win games, and they were hard to play against."
"I'm fit and ready to go," he added. "It'll be up to the manager whether he wants to play me or wait, but I'm fit and ready."