Villa's Friedel: Blackburn pal Santa Cruz tremendous

Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel admits former Blackburn teammate Roque Santa Cruz would be a great addition at Villa Park.

"As far as transfer speculation is concerned I know nothing about whether he is going to go or stay," said Friedel.

"As far as him as a person, he is a great professional, a tremendous player and, for me, last season he was probably one of the top three buys in the Premier League.

"He's up there with Fernando Torres pound for pound.

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"He is just the whole package, good in the air, he can hold the ball, it was a great return for what Blackburn paid.

"But when it comes to transfer money, I don't even know if he is saleable what with myself and Bentley already gone, you'd have to call John Williams (Blackburn chairman) and ask him that.

"It would be tough if three of us were to leave in one summer.

"He's a hard worker and came into the Premier League with people thinking he'd had a lot of injuries and might not play that much.

"But I think he missed two training seasons all year and worked his socks off.

"I can't believe people passed up on him last year, maybe they were thrown off by his injuries. I can't say enough good things about Roque Santa Cruz. He's a lovely fellow and a great guy."

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