Ryan Nelsen completes Tottenham switch

 

Tottenham have confirmed the signing of defender Ryan Nelsen from fellow Barclays Premier League side Blackburn in a statement on their website.

New Zealander Ryan, who led his country at the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, was released by Rovers after the club agreed to the termination of his contract

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp had been keen to bring in another defender after Sebastien Bassong joined Wolves on loan for the rest of the season on transfer deadline day.

Tottenham watched Nelsen in a reserve game against Huddersfield on Tuesday prior to Rovers cancelling his contract.

He has only played one first-team game this year, but assistant manager Kevin Bond revealed that the veteran will be in the Tottenham squad for Monday's Barclays Premier League game at Liverpool.

"He is fit and eligible to play on Monday," Bond said. "I've just had a cup of team with him in the canteen. He is looking forward to the challenge."

With Spurs just five points off the top of the table, and through to the fifth round of the FA Cup, the 34-year-old hopes he can win some silverware with the north London outfit.

"Medals, trophies are things you strive for. Blackburn got to five semis and never made a final, so it's very exciting," Nelsen told New Zealand's 3News.

Nelsen joins a club already blessed with a number of top-class centre-backs. Ledley King, Michael Dawson and Younes Kaboul have all performed well this term when fit and they also have William Gallas, although he is currently out with a long-term calf injury.

The new arrival is looking forward to the challenge of breaking in to the first team.

"I kind of like when the odds are stacked against you, so we'll see. We'll get out there and give it everything," Nelsen said.

"It feels like you're going back to the first day of school, so yeah, everyone will be looking at you and judging you so I better clean my boots and comb my hair... it'll be fun."

The only other major arrival at White Hart Lane last month was 33-year-old Everton striker Louis Saha.

A number of fans have been left underwhelmed at the arrival of the ageing duo, particularly given that they were strongly linked with the likes of Loic Remy, Christopher Samba and Junior Hoilett at the start of 2012.

Bond cast aside those worries today, however, insisting that Saha and Nelsen's experience will prove vital to the squad as they start a nervy run-in searching for their first title since 1961.

"I think that experience and that know-how of having been there before is important," he said.

"They are the right characters. Having those type of characters in the dressing room and the training ground will be really important for us.

"The type of people they are, I think they can make an important difference."

Bond has been impressed with how Saha has adapted to life at Spurs since his deadline day move on Tuesday.

"I wasn't in yesterday, but from what I am told, Louis Saha trained well," the Tottenham assistant added.

PA

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