Brad Guzan: Why the American is a positive recruit for Middlesbrough

American international Brad Guzan has completed a move to Premier League newcomers Middlesbrough.

The 31-year old has signed a two-year contract, and becomes the second goalkeeper to arrive at the Riverside Stadium after Victor Valdes.

Boro- who have had a grueling seven year absence from the English top flight- are not leaving anything to chance, as Guzan becomes their ninth signing of the summer [Manager Aitor Karanka has seemingly learnt a thing or two from Leicester City’s remodeling since gaining promotion into the Premier League two years ago].

Despite still having a year left on his contract with Aston Villa, the veteran was reportedly allowed to leave on a Bosman transfer following Villa’s relegation to the Championship.


Early life

Born Bradley Edwin Guzan on 9 September 1984 in Evergreen Park, Illinois, he spent his early years with South Carolina Gamecocks and Chicago Fire Premier before finally settling with Chivas USA in 2005.

He joined Premier League side Aston Villa in 2008 where he spent the next eight years, albeit with a season long loan spell at Hull City in 2011.

Determined not to be the whipping boys of next season, Boro’s acquisition of Guzan will inject experience between the sticks as the American made 170 appearances during his stay at Villa Park.


Will he topple Victor Valdes?

On paper, Brad Guzan is already at a disadvantage given he is going against former Barcelona and Manchester United goalkeeper Victor Valdes for a place in the pecking order.

Valdes has had a trophy laden career, winning virtually everything during his twelve year stay at Camp Nou.

Furthermore, he has seen equal success with the Spanish national team, having won two European Championships and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Guzan is considered as positive reinforcement, but it is unlikely that he will topple Valdes for the number one spot.


Written by Brian Humphrey

Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum

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