Friday 20 June 2014
West Bromwich Albion have made their second signing of the summer and the first since the appointment of Alan Irvine as head coach with the arrival of Joleon Lescott on a free transfer.
"He's an England international and a proven Premier League player, who has been at the top level for a number of years"
The 31-year-old centre-half will join West Brom on a Bosman free transfer on 1 July after his contract with Manchester City has expired and will be on a two-year contract at The Hawthorns, plus a further year's option related to his performance.
Lescott spent five years at Manchester City, winning two Barclays Premier League winners’ medal in the past three seasons after 107 appearances with seven goals. Before joining City Lescott was at Everton, where he worked with Irvine, who was assistant manager at Goodison Park, and the new West Brom head coach was delighted to capture the defender, who has 26 international caps.
"He's an England international and a proven Premier League player, who has been at the top level for a number of years," Irvine said. "He's got Premier League and cup medals to his name and has had a fantastic career so far.
"When we realised he was available and there was a realistic chance of getting him here we started to work very hard on it. Full credit to the board and everyone at the club for getting this done as quickly and effectively as they did.
"I know Joleon and the type of personality and character he is, in addition to knowing what he can do as a player. He's a great professional and he will add to a number of very good professionals who are already in the squad.
"Nobody is guaranteed a place in the team"
"It's vitally important for me that we don't go into a Premier League season with only three centre-backs at senior level – and I'm delighted with the four proven centre-backs we now have.
"Nobody is guaranteed a place in the team; I have to pick the best two, or sometimes we might play with a three, and I have to work out the ones who can do the best job in any particular game."
Lescott is the Baggies' second summer signing after Craig Gardner who also joined on a free, from Sunderland, and Irvine has suggested there will be more arrivals at The Hawthorns during this transfer window.
Speaking at his first press conference since being confirmed as head coach and the day before the signing of Lescott, Irvine identified where he would like to strengthen the team.
"There aren't many full-backs at the club, there is a shortage of wide players, we only have three senior centre-backs and we don't have a lot of out-and-out strikers," Irvine said. "So there are areas we've got to address purely in terms of numbers – but clearly there has got to be quality in terms of the additions."
Lescott and Gardner will join their new team-mates when they report for pre-season training on 7 July.
*includes one match for Everton
||Goals||Tackles won||Tackle success||Blocks||Aerials won|