Ex-Bolton and Villa defender Samuel excited about Iran challenge after shock switch

Adventure: Jlloyd Samuel

Adventure: Jlloyd Samuel

Former Aston Villa and Bolton defender Jlloyd Samuel has moved to Iran to join Tehran club Esteghlal for the rest of the season.

Samuel made the bold decision to join up with his old Bolton team-mate Andranik Teymourian in the Middle East following his release last summer from the Reebok Stadium, where he missed the entire 2010-11 campaign through injury.

The 30-year-old was unable to secure a contract after trials with West Ham and Leeds, but insists that he had other options besides Iran.

‘Everything is going well,’ said the former England Under 21 full back.

‘I’m here and there doesn’t seem to be any unrest, at this moment in time anyway.

‘I did have opportunities in England, as well as one or two abroad, but this is a new challenge and I’m looking forward to it.

‘I’m here for a short time, and who knows what’s around the corner?’