Wednesday 09 January 2013
West Bromwich Albion have been hit by the news that midfielder Zoltan Gera will miss the rest of the season with a serious knee injury.
The 33-year-old Hungarian, who has scored four Barclays Premier League goals this season, was injured in the 21st minute of Saturday's 1-1 FA Cup third round draw at Queens Park Rangers.
Scans have revealed that Gera ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and is set to undergo surgery next week. He is expected to be out for between six to nine months.
"I'm devastated for Zoltan," West Brom manager Steve Clarke told the club's official website. "He's a terrific guy and professional and I want to thank him for his contribution this season. It has been invaluable.
"He'll now get our full support during the rehab process. Zoltan has already proven he can come back from this injury once and produce at the highest level and I have no doubts he will do so again."
Meanwhile, West Brom have decided to appoint from within the successor to Dan Ashworth as sporting and technical director.
The club’s legal director/secretary Richard Garlick has been named as the designated new man and will work closely with Ashworth until the summer when the latter becomes The Football Association’s new director of elite development.
"This is a great opportunity and I’m really looking forward to the challenge"
Garlick, who was formerly on the books of Rotherham United as a player, will be responsible for the club’s first team, player recruitment, medical services and Academy and will work closely with Ashworth during a handover period to ensure the club are prepared for the summer transfer window.
"We decided to recruit an individual with a current working knowledge of the English game," West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace told the club’s website. "Therefore we conducted an extensive search in the UK to benchmark all possible candidates to replace Dan.
"We have had Richard in mind since the start of the process and, after completing our research, he emerged as the strongest candidate. As with Dan when he was initially appointed five years ago, Richard already has an in-depth knowledge of the club, excellent relationships with the staff who will report to him and a clear understanding of how we operate."
Garlick said: "This is a great opportunity and I'm really looking forward to the challenge. Dan will be a hard act to follow but the role has become solidly established at the club under his stewardship."
Queens Park Rangers have announced that they have released midfielder Kieron Dyer.
The 34-year-old signed for QPR in the summer of 2011 after being released by West Ham United.
Problems with injuries limited Dyer to six Barclays Premier League matches and eight appearances in all competitions for QPR, scoring one goal, in Saturday's 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion in the third round of the FA Cup.
"I'd like to thank Kieron for his services to QPR," manager Harry Redknapp told the club's website. "If he can stay clear of injuries I'm sure there's clubs out there that will offer him the chance to play football. He wasn't in my plans and he's got something to offer someone, so we wish him all the best."
For more details on Kieron Dyer's career, click here
Reading have completed the signing of Crawley Town midfielder Hope Akpan on a three-and-a-half year deal.
The 21-year-old came through the ranks at Everton and has been tracked by Reading for a while.
"I'm delighted to have signed Hope, we have known all about him for a very long time," Royals boss Brian McDermott told the club's official website.
"He has a great pedigree coming through the ranks at a top Premier League side in Everton, there were a lot of clubs in for him during this window but once he heard of our interest this was the only place he wanted to play. He's 21 and is a player we feel can play at this level."
Hull City have made a double signing with the capture of Manchester United winger Robbie Brady and Sunderland midfielder David Meyler.
Brady, 20, and Meyler, 23, have both signed three-and-a-half year contracts after impressing at the KC Stadium during loan spells this season.
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