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West Brom conclude summer business with Erik Pieters' one-year deal

Albion have wrapped up their summer business with the signing of free agent Erik Pieters on a one-year contract.

Former Stoke defender Erik Pieters has signed with Albion after a period of training with the club (AMA)
Former Stoke defender Erik Pieters has signed with Albion after a period of training with the club (AMA)

The versatile and experienced defender has been training with the club for six weeks and his addition provides Steve Bruce cover on both the left and at the heart of defence.

The former Dutch international turned 34 last month but Bruce is confident the defender has looked after himself physically and is relatively up to speed given his training at the club.

Pieters, who has 18 caps for The Netherlands the most recent of which in 2014, has spent the best part of a decade in English football at Stoke City and Burnley. He racked up almost 250 Premier League appearance prior to leaving the Clarets at the end of last season.

Bruce said: "Erik Pieters has joined us permanently.

"Erik has been with us for six weeks, he might have a part to play earlier because we know where he's up to.

"His fitness levels are very, very good. He's got good experience. He'll be a good acquisition for us."

The Dutchman becomes Albion's eighth signing of the summer – and second this week after the deadline a couple of weeks ago.

Bruce confirmed it is the club's final addition until January. He added: "That's us. I'm not going to scour anymore."

Pieters has been registered ahead of tomorrow's Championship clash against Blues at The Hawthorns and is expected to be part of the matchday squad.

Bruce eyed up extra depth in defence after Semi Ajayi injured his ankle at Wigan at the end of last month.

Albion were also light in both full-back areas and have since brought in fellow experienced defender and free agent Martin Kelly, who can play on the right and also centrally, as well as Pieters.

The manager said Pieters' versatility on the left and centrally was similar to that of Matt Clarke who after a successful loan last season was a target for Albion but opted to join Championship rivals Middlesbrough.

"He's looked after himself, he's really fit, a fit lad for his age," Bruce added.

"He's played left side of a back three, left-sided centre-half, left-back, so his versatility – a bit like Clarkey really, who was obviously on the radar but has gone to Middlesbrough."

Pieters insists he feels in good shape for the weeks and months ahead after Bruce confirmed he is ready to be called upon whenever his services are required.

The new recruit said: “It means to a lot to have signed here. Everyone knows I have been a free agent for a little while, so I have been working really hard at home to keep myself in shape.

“I now want to prove myself and show what I still have in me. It’s down to me to prove that I’m worthy of being signed here and that I still have what it takes to play at this level of football. I’m confident I can do that.

“I’ve really enjoyed being here. From the first day I walked in the lads have been great with me and I’ve had a really good relationship with the manager. I feel really at home here.

“I still love the game. When my body is telling me that it can’t handle it anymore then that’s when I’ll have to think about what the future holds, but I still feel great. I’m ready to go."

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