With his light-grey jogging bottoms, Gabor Kiraly does not look like an international goalkeeper. But he is, for Hungary, and last night that experience became essential to Aston Villa's plans for the next four weeks.
Kiraly, described by the Villa website as having a "positive attitude and eccentric ways", has moved to the club on a one-month emergency loan deal from Crystal Palace.
He will provide goalkeeping cover after Thomas Sorensen and Stuart Taylor were both ruled out of Villa's match against Bolton Wanderers tomorrow because of knee injuries.
Kiraly will vie with Robert Olejnik for a place in the starting line-up.
Olejnik, a 20-year-old Austrian, has never played for the Villa first team, although he has been on the substitutes' bench for the past three matches. His rise to the first-team squad appears to be ahead of schedule.
The 30-year-old Kiraly's credentials — he has played 65 matches for Hungary and appeared in the Uefa Champions League for Hertha Berlin — could prove to be crucial when Martin O'Neill selects the Villa team to face Bolton.
Interestingly, Kiraly made his Premiership debut on September 25 2004 at Villa Park, for Crystal Palace in a match that ended 1-1. Only four Villa players from the line-up that day are likely to play tomorrow.
Kiraly played for Hungary against England at Old Trafford last May, conceding goals to Steven Gerrard, John Terry and Peter Crouch in a 3-1 defeat. He did, however, save a Frank Lampard penalty. He played for Hertha Berlin against Chelsea in the European Cup in 1999, a match in which Chris Sutton came on as a late substitute for the English club.
Kiraly has just returned to Crystal Palace after spending a fortnight on loan with West Ham United, providing cover last month from the substitutes' bench.
After special dispensation from the Premier League, he will spend an initial month in the Midlands and the deal could be extended if required.
Taylor went to hospital on Wednesday night for a knee operation and will not play until next month, while Sorensen is still recovering from a similar injury.
Taylor has expressed disappointment that his first extended run in the side has been ended by injury.
"I am absolutely gutted, there is no other word for it," he told Villa's website. "I can't believe this has happened just as I was getting a run in the team.
"Thomas' injury meant I was getting a chance to prove myself for the first time — but it was obviously not meant to be. There is nothing I can do about it, though. I just have to focus on getting back to full fitness then I can push Thomas [Sorensen] for the shirt again."
* Is this a good signing for Villa? Should Martin O'Neill give Robert Olejnik a chance? Tell us your thoughts at the messageboard.