Friedel tips former Aston Villa understudy Guzan for the top

The 42-year-old American worked closely with his compatriot at Villa Park and believes that he has what it takes to become one of the best Premier League goalkeepers
Brad Friedel backs his former Aston Villa understudy, Brad Guzan, to become one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League.

The 28-year-old was an ever-present force in Paul Lambert's side last season and was rewarded with a new four-year contract on Saturday, having already picked up the club's Players' Player and Supporters' Player of the Year awards.

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And Friedel, who kept Guzan out of the Villa team before moving to Tottenham in 2011, believes that his fellow American will rise to the top.

"Brad can be as good as anyone in the Premier League," the 42-year-old told the Express & Star.

"He has a phenomenal work ethic, he's a big, strong boy and he is six-foot-two-inches tall.

"And let's not forget he had the season he did after Shay Given, who has been one of the best Premier League keepers, was dislodged by Brad."

Guzan played in all but two of Villa's 38 Premier League games last term and was a hugely impressive figure, despite conceding 65 of his side's 69 goals.

He returned to the club's Bodymoor Heath training ground on Saturday after international duty and will be on-board Sunday's flight to Germany for the club's three-match pre-season tour.