Friday 9 December 2016

Ambitious James McClean 'delighted' with Baggies move

Jamie Holland

Published 23/06/2015 | 02:30

McClean: 'I’m delighted. I’ve played in the Premier League before and not only am I back here, but I’m with a stable top-flight club and one that wants to push on'
McClean: 'I’m delighted. I’ve played in the Premier League before and not only am I back here, but I’m with a stable top-flight club and one that wants to push on'

West Brom have made Republic of Ireland winger James McClean their first signing of the summer.

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The 26-year-old has joined from League One side Wigan for an undisclosed fee on a three-year contract, with the club retaining an option to extend the deal for a further 12 months.

McClean said: "I'm delighted. I've played in the Premier League before and not only am I back here, but I'm with a stable top-flight club and one that wants to push on.

"Tony Pulis told me what his plans were, where I would fit in. It was all very positive. The Premier League is where any player wants to be."

The former Sunderland player added of his new boss at the Hawthorns: "He also told me he has a great dressing room, it's been a stable club - but he's made it clear he wants to push this club on.

"I'm very ambitious. Everything about this move seems right for me - I'm very positive about it.

"Once the Albion came in this was a move I was keen to get done - this is a big club and a new chapter for me."

After making 41 appearances for Sunderland in the 2012-13 season, Derry-born McClean joined surprise FA Cup winners Wigan.

He would make 86 appearances for the Latics, scoring 10 goals, but could not stop the club suffering relegation from the Championship last month.

Baggies manager Pulis welcomed his first arrival of the close season, saying: "He's got Premier League experience from his time with Sunderland.

"James has had a couple of indifferent years with Wigan but he did well at Sunderland and we're very pleased to have him on board.

"I am absolutely confident that he can fulfil the potential to come back and be a big player for us. He's got pace, he's left-footed - so he gives us a good balance in the side - and he can score goals."

McClean has 27 caps for Ireland and featured at Euro 2012, making one substitute appearance against Spain.

Leaving West Brom is DR Congo international midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu, who will sign for newly promoted Norwich City on a free transfer.

The 28-year-old will join the Canaries on July 1 when his contract expires. He is the second player to switch from West Brom to Norwich in the transfer window following his former team-mate Graham Dorrans in May.

Another promoted club, Bournemouth, are also busy in the transfer market and are expected to sign former Everton centre-half Sylvain Distin.

Southampton have brought in Holland goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg on a season-long loan from Fulham to provide cover for the injured England international Fraser Forster.

Stekelenburg, capped 54 times by his country, spent last season on loan at Monaco following Fulham's relegation to the Championship.

Burnley have signed Aston Villa midfielder Matt Lowton on a three-year deal.

Serie A champions Juventus boosted their already impressive collection of strikers still further when they signed Croatia forward Mario Mandzukic from Atletico Madrid for a fee of €19m.

Former VfL Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich forward Mandzukic scored 20 goals in 43 matches in all competitions for Diego Simeone's side last season as Atletico finished third in the defence of the La Liga title they won in 2014.

Irish Independent

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