Aston Villa desperately needed a new goalkeeper in the winter market after they lost Tom Heaton to a serious injury at the start of this month. The former Burnley man has been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.
Three days ago, Dean Smith’s side agreed a deal with AC Milan to take Pepe Reina on loan until the end of the season.
The 37-year-old has since given a short interview to Onda Cero’s program El Transistor, and explained why he decided to join Villa, who are currently 18th in the table with 21 points, one point behind 17th placed Watford.
“We have only come until summer with the idea of helping and doing well until the end of this season,” Reina said.
“I have barely had time to go around the city to know it because we have looked for a house and a school for children with the idea of being all comfortable.”
Reina was a backup to Gianluigi Donnarumma at the San Siro, but a temporary move to Villa Park will help him feature regularly. His decision to join Milan on a free transfer in 2018 hasn’t gone as per the plan. The custodian will remain hopeful that things can be better at Villa.
“I signed a year and a half ago. The situation then was that Donnaruma was going to leave but in the end he stayed. That’s why I tried to do my best to play and also to help ‘Gigi’ in his growth,” he explained.
“Here [at Villa] I now have the opportunity to play every week and to feel like a footballer again.”
A move to Villa has also seen Reina return to the Premier League, where he spent nine years at Liverpool between 2005 to 2014.
“I have been fortunate to compete in the four leagues and meet the four cultures. But in the end the league in which one feels much more like a football player is the English, where I have lived my best years as an athlete,” the keeper stressed.