And the £4.5million signing insists his move to Aston Villa can spark his international ambitions with England.

"I think the first contact was made before the whole Gareth Barry thing came out so I don't think it's right to say I'm the Gareth Barry replacement,'' said the 25 year old, who signed a three-year deal.

''I'd like to be judged on what I do for Villa. I'm not here to replace anyone.

"Every player is an individual and I'll bring qualities to the side that hopefully only I can do. My aim is to improve the side - not to replace Gareth Barry or anyone else," the former Chelsea man told the Birmingham Mail