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Heskey & Cuellar amongst those released by Aston Villa

Heskey & Cuellar amongst those released by Aston Villa

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Three senior players have left Villa Park, with American goalkeeper Brad Guzan also departing the Birmingham club, despite them currently being without a manager

Brad Guzan, Carlos Cuellar and Emile Heskey have all been released by Aston Villa after the club decided not to renew their contracts.

Despite currently being without a manager, Villa have released the three senior players alongside several academy prospects.

Former England international Heskey arrived at the Midlands club from Wigan in 2009 in a deal worth just over £3 million. The target man enjoyed a good start to his Villa career, scoring on his debut at Fratton Park against Portsmouth, but enjoyed little success in front of goal since.

Guzan has been restricted to second choice at Villa Park since his arrival in 2008 due to the excellence of former keeper Brad Friedel and current No.1 Shay Given.

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The American, aged 27, was a firm fan favourite amongst the Villa faithful, thanks to his penalty heroics in cup competitions. His best moment in the claret-and-blue shirt came during their pre-season tour of Spain in 2009, when Martin O'Neill's side won the Peace Cup, defeating Juventus in the final thanks to two Guzan penalty saves.

Cuellar had also proved popular his move from Rangers in 2007. The central defender often filled in across the back four, endearing himself to the fans with his versatile displays.

After announcing his intentions to leave the Midlands club, Cuellar was bombarded with messages of thanks and pleas for him to stay. The Spaniard was also given the captain's armband on numerous occasions towards the end of the season, but had already decided to leave.

Several academy prospects have also been released alongside these three senior players, after being deemed not good enough for the step up.

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