English Premiership

Spurs seal Gallas deal

2010-08-22 16:55
William Gallas (AFP)

London - Former Arsenal captain William Gallas has completed his move to north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, the English Premiership club announced on Sunday.

"We are delighted to announce the signing of William Gallas on a one-year deal," said a statement on the Tottenham website.

The 33-year-old French central defender was out of contract with Arsenal where he spent four seasons. He had previously played for Chelsea, Caen and Marseille.

Gallas was left looking for new employers after Arsenal baulked at his high wage demands, reportedly £80 000 a week, and opted to release the former Chelsea star.

But Spurs boss Harry Redknapp believes the chance to sign such an experienced international was too good to turn down.

With Jonathan Woodgate still out with a long-term groin injury and captain Ledley King plagued by knee problems that have the potential to limit his playing time, Redknapp has been keen to bolster his defensive resources.

"He's a no-brainer on a free transfer, Redknapp said on Friday. "He's never asked for big money here. The chairman's agreed a one-year contract with him and the wages are more than reasonable.

"I don't think his attitude's ever been questioned. The only problem he has, he gets annoyed with people who are not as professional as he is, which is not a bad thing. That can't do any harm.

"If he can bring that to this team as well, that'll be a good bonus for us.

"Whenever we've played against him over the years, I've always thought he was a world-class defender."

Traffic between Arsenal and Spurs has been light over the years, aside from Sol Campbell's acrimonious decision to join Arsene Wenger's team on a free transfer in 2001.

But Redknapp had already shrugged off any controversy there could be from Gallas crossing the north London divide.

"He's done nothing wrong. What's he done wrong?" Redknapp said. "He's not the first player to go from Arsenal to Tottenham or Tottenham to Arsenal. It happens all the time.

"He won championships and all sorts at Chelsea. He's a great lad as well, smashing fellow. I've been absolutely really impressed with him.

"He'll improve Tottenham and that's all I'm concerned about. He wants to come here and play and I think that shows the character.

"He could say, 'I played at Arsenal, I daren't go there'. He's got the bottle to want to come and play here."

Read more on:    tottenham hotspur  |  william gallas
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