U's swoop for Hammond
Colchester United have splashed out £250,000 to capture Brighton captain Dean Hammond.
Last Updated: 31/01/08 6:49pm
Colchester United have splashed out £250,000 to capture Brighton & Hove Albion captain Dean Hammond.
The midfielder would have been out of contract at the end of the season and had rejected an extension at Brighton.
The League One club opted not to lose the 24-year-old for nothing in the summer and accepted Colchester's bid.
A £200,000 offer from the struggling U's was rejected earlier in the month, and Layer Road boss Geraint Williams is happy to finalise the signing.
"I have been down to watch him on a number of occasions, we have had scouts watching him and have seen videos of him in action," Williams told the club's official website.
"He's obviously scored goals from the centre of midfield, but we've also seen him play at the base of a diamond, so he's comfortable anywhere in there.
"He seems to enjoy the physical aspect of being a midfielder and also has the energy to get from box to box throughout a game.
"Twenty four is a great age to bring someone in because they can already do a job for you, but can also improve with us for the future.
"The fact that he has been a captain at Brighton since last season means that he is a good character as well as a good player."