On the back of news that highly promising youngster Liam O’Neill has penned a new deal with the club, West Brom have officially revealed that Craig Gardner will also sign for The Baggies this summer.
Gardner has told of his delight to be joining up with some old mates at West Brom. Speaking to the club’s official website the midfielder explained how he has been wanting to join the Midlands team for a number of years and was glad to finally be able to link up with them.
“I was linked with West Brom previously and I was just praying it happened this time. Now eventually it has happened so I’m over the moon.”
West Brom announced that Gardner has signed a 3 year deal at the club and will join when his current contract with Sunderland expires on July 1. The player also admitted that the lure of moving closer to his home to be nearer his friends and family was a big draw, and he hopes that this will help him to play better football in the future.
“I’ve got a lot of friends here and I’m just buzzing that I’m back at home in the Midlands where I enjoy my football the most and feel I play my best football.”
The Birmingham born midfielder is one of a number of players who are out of contract this summer on Wearside. With a shake up perhaps on the cards at Sunderland this summer Gardner’s departure has long seemed possible. He follows the likes of Carlos Cuellar and Andrea Dossena, who have also been released from the club.
The 27 year old joined the Black Cats in 2011 from Birmingham City after they were relegated from The Premier League. He has since made 81 appearances for the club, scoring 11 goals, but has found himself benched for most of the season.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet favoured other midfielders giving Gardner only a bit part in 2013/14.
He joins ex-teammate Stephane Sessegnon who moved to the Baggies from Sunderland last summer after Paulo Di Canio felt he was surplus to requirements. Gardner said that playing alongside Sessegnon and his good friend Ben Foster would help him to settle quickly into the squad.
Let’s see the lad in action. West Brom fans: Good business?
By Nathan GibsonFollow @soccersweep10