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Houllier Eyeing Riise Reunion

Villa have been linked to ex-Liverpool left-back John Arne Riise, now of Roma, to fill the left back void set to be vacated by Stephen Warnock’s obvious departure in the summer. The Norwegian international, 30, was signed by Gerard Houllier in 2002 and became a fans favourite at Anfield, adored for his powerhouse left foot. Riise has been a mainstay in the Serie A side’s defence since joining the club in 2008 but could leave the club with his contract set to expire next year. A veteran of the international game, Riise has turned out 93 times at senior level, scoring an impressive 13 times from full-back. Despite having lost a little pace the defender is still an attacking threat and has laid on 9 assists in his 39 appearances in all competitions this term. He has a pass success rate of 85% in the Serie A, made an average of 2.2 tackles per game and won 61% of his aerial duels. His only goal of the campaign came in the 3-1 defeat to Inter Milan, then managed by another former boss Rafa Benitez, in the Italian Super Cup.

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