Baggies capture Ibanez

Image: Ibanez: Hawthorns bound

West Brom have announced the signing of Spanish defender Pablo Ibanez on a free transfer.

Experienced Spaniard moves to Hawthorns

West Brom have announced the signing of Spanish defender Pablo Ibanez on a free transfer from Atletico Madrid. The 28-year-old, who won 28 caps for his country between 2004 and 2008, including a starting berth alongside Carles Puyol at the 2006 World Cup, adds an experienced head to bolster Baggies boss Roberto Di Matteo's defensive options upon their return to the Premier League. Ibanez has seen his first-team opportunities at Vicente Calderon limited under manager Quique Sanchez Florez, playing no part in the Rojiblancos' successful Europa League run behind Alvaro Dominguez, Luis Perea and Tomas Ujfalusi. Formerly linked with Liverpool, among a host of top European clubs, Ibanez will be keen to establish himself as the quality centre-back he was once considered earlier in his career after his contract expired with the club he joined in 2004. He is likely to become a starter in the side, competing with the likes of Gabriel Tamas and Abdoulaye Meite for a centre-back role at the Hawthorns. "Pablo comes with bags of experience at the highest level, having been a regular fixture in La Liga for the past seven seasons," said Di Matteo. "He's also played in the Champions League for Atletico and the World Cup for Spain, so the Premier League should hold no fears for him. "Pablo has a great pedigree and, at 28, is at a good age."

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