Dawson agrees WBA deal
West Brom have moved to secure the signature of Rochdale defender Craig Dawson.
Last Updated: 31/08/10 6:44pm
West Brom have moved to secure the signature of Rochdale defender Craig Dawson and have immediately loaned him back to the Spotland side.
As reported by skysports.com earlier, the Baggies were keen to snap up the promising stopper on transfer deadline day.
And manager Roberto Di Matteo has now captured the 20-year-old, agreeing a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
Albion have an option to extend that contract by a year, but in the meantime, Dawson will rejoin Dale on a season-long loan.
Dawson helped his hometown club secure promotion to League One in his first full season as a professional footballer.
His developing reputation quickly saw him emerge as one of the most highly-rated players outside the Premier League.
Albion sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth admitted the club had been tracking Dawson throughout his maiden season.
Ashworth told the club's official website: "We're delighted to welcome Craig to the club. He is an excellent young prospect who we have thoroughly scouted.
"We tracked him for the whole of last season, watching him 20 times in League Two, and he has started this season well in League One as well as impressing against Premier League and Championship opposition in the Carling Cup.
"As a club, we've often talked about having an underbelly of players who will be ready to challenge for a first-team place in a couple of years time."
Rochdale signed Dawson from non-league outfit Radcliffe Borough in February 2009 and he made an immediate impact for his new club, scoring 11 times from defence.
Ashworth said the Baggies would continue to monitor the 6' 2" player's progress before he links-up fully with his new team-mates.
He added: "He is obviously what the Premier League regard as a 'home-grown' player, (he) is an imposing lad with lots of potential, is comfortable on the ball and also has an eye for goal from set pieces.
"We wish him all the best at Rochdale for the remainder of the season and we'll be closely monitoring his progress."