Monday, 11 July 2011

Woodgate Signs For Stoke City

Stoke City have completed the free transfer signing of central defender Jonathan Woodgate.
Woodgate joins the Potters after his contract at Tottenham Hotspur expired and has signed a one-year deal.The 31-year-old former England international started out at Leeds United before having spells with Newcastle United, Real Madrid and Middlesbrough in a career blighted by injury.
Woodgate will link up with his new team-mates later this week when they return from their pre-season training camp in Austria.
Manager Tony Pulis said: "The lad is a top class player and it's been well documented that he has had his injury troubles, but we believe that if his fitness is managed properly, he will play games for us.

"We know that other Premier League clubs were keen on signing Jonathan, so we are delighted he has chosen us. It's a chance we are taking, but one we were keen to take because of the stature and quality of the player."

He added: "We've effectively taken him on a pay-as-you-play deal which just shows how desperate the lad is to get his career back on the right track."
Woodgate will be reunited with a former Middlesbrough team-mate Robert Huth at the Britannia Stadium, the pair having played together at the heart of the north east club's defence when they were in the Premier League five years ago.

Prior to that, he enjoyed a successful spell with Leeds, before moving on to Newcastle and then had a two-year stint with Real Madrid.

After returning to the English game with Middlesbrough, he joined Tottenham in a £7m deal in January 2008 and was a key figure in the following season when they recovered from a poor start to finish eighth in the Barclays Premier League.

Woodgate has won eight international caps with England, the first of which came back in Kevin Keegan's reign in 1999 while he was at Leeds. His fine form for hometown club Middlesbrough earned him a recall in February 2007.

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