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Dean Saunders

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Former Wales international Dean Saunders (born 21/6/1964, Swansea) played as a striker best known for his time at Aston Villa. Over his 19 year career he played for Swansea City, Cardiff City, Brighton, Oxford United, Derby County, Liverpool, Galatasaray, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, Benfica and Bradford City. As one of Wales’s most prolific goalscorers, Saunders won 75 caps as an international player.

Saunders began his career at Swansea, signing as a professional in 1982 and playing 50 games for the club before signing to Oxford United where he immediately settled into the squad, helping them avoid relegation at the end of the 1986-87 season. He was sold to Derby County for £1million where he made his debut in October 1988. His goals helped them finish fifth in the 1988–89 First Division table, which was their highest finish since 1975.
In 1991 he transferred to Liverpool where he was partnered with Steve McManaman, seeing the club to FA Cup victory for the fifth time in the club’s history. He then joined Aston Villa the following year for a record fee of £2.5million. He won the hearts of the supporters at Villa Park, nicknaming him ‘Deano’. His goals against Birmingham City and Tranmere Rovers helped Aston Villa win the 1994 Football League Cup. He was named the Supporters Player of the Year in the 1994-95 season. In 1995 Saunders signed to Turkish club Galatasaray and after one season he returned to England to play for Nottingham Forest. He then had spells at clubs Benfica, Sheffield United and Bradford City before retiring from the game in 2001.
Dean initially became a coach at Bradford after his retirement before moving to Blackburn Rovers where he worked with his former manager Graeme Souness. He then moved to Newcastle United in 2004. In 2007 he was appointed assistant manager to the Wales international team. He is also an occasional pundit for the BBC, sometimes providing analysis on Wales’ matches.

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