English Premiership

Woodgate signs for Stoke

2011-07-11 16:43
Jonathan Woodgate (File)

London - Injury-plagued former England defender Jonathan Woodgate has joined Stoke on a one-year, free transfer deal, the Premier League club announced Monday.

Woodgate, 31, will arrive at the Midlands side from English top-flight rivals Tottenham Hotspur following the end of his contract with the London club.

He made his name at Leeds and then enjoyed spells at Newcastle, Real Madrid, Middlesbrough and Spurs in a career that has been overshadowed by fitness problems.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis, speaking from a pre-season training camp in Austria, told the club's official website: "The lad is a top-class player and it's been well documented that he has had his injury troubles, but we believe that if his fitness is managed properly, he will play games for us.

"We know that other Premier League clubs were keen on signing Jonathan, so we are delighted he has chosen us. It's a chance we are taking, but one we were keen to take because of the stature and quality of the player."

He added: "We've effectively taken him on a pay-as-you-play deal which just shows how desperate the lad is to get his career back on the right track."

Woodgate made just four first-team appearances during the past two seasons at Tottenham due to a groin problem.

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