Baggies snap up Scharner
Versatile former Wigan player Paul Scharner has signed with West Brom on a two-year deal.
Last Updated: 30/08/10 6:55pm
Versatile former Wigan player Paul Scharner has signed with West Brom on a two-year deal, the club has announced.
Austria international Scharner, who has been captured chiefly to bolster the Baggies' options in central midfield, completed the free transfer after passing a Hawthorns medical on Monday.
The 30-year-old had been a free agent since departing the DW Stadium at the end of last season after his contract there expired, and last played during Wigan's final match of the campaign at Chelsea.
The newly-promoted Midlands club claim to have fended off competition from rival Premier League clubs for Scharner's signature, and manager Roberto Di Matteo is thrilled to complete his ninth permanent signing of the summer.
"I'm delighted to welcome Paul to the club," Di Matteo told Albion's official website.
"He is exactly the type of player we've been looking to bring in because he is a proven Premier League player, having performed consistently well in the top flight for the past four-and-a-half years.
"Paul is a powerful, competitive player who is good on the ball, excellent in both boxes, can play in numerous positions and also chips in with goals.
"He is obviously short of match practice at the moment but when he's fully up to speed I'm sure his experience will prove invaluable as we strive to establish this club in the Premier League."
Sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth added: "Paul has been on our radar ever since we knew he would be leaving Wigan and it is great news for the club that he has agreed to join us.
"At the start of the window, we looked in-depth at several players who were becoming free agents and had considerable experience in top-flight football either in England or abroad.
"I think we've had some real success in this area with the arrivals of Paul, Steven Reid and Pablo Ibanez.
"With the other players we've brought in for transfer fees, we now have a nice blend of youth and experience within the squad and plenty of competition for places."
Scharner, who joined Wigan from Norweigan side Brann in January 2006, made a club record 145 Premier League appearances for the Latics, scoring 14 goals.
The Austrian, who has won 30 caps for his country, underlined his versatility at the DW Stadium by playing in every outfield position apart from left-back.