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Upson Joins on Permanent Deal

PUBLISHED

11:14 10th July 2013

by Will Jago

Matthew Upson has joined the club on a one-year contract.

The former England international has returned following a successful loan spell throughout the closing months of the 2012/13 season, and put pen to paper this morning, as a free agent.

Head of football operations David Burke told seagulls.co.uk, “We are delighted that Matt has agreed to come back to the club. His experience is fantastic and it really shows our intent by bringing in someone of Matt’s pedigree.

“It’s not like he’s a new signing because he’s been with us for almost six months and he knows exactly what we are all about. He brings continuity and stability to the defence, which is what we were looking for, and it bodes well for us to keep the strong defence that we had last season.”

The 34-year-old made 20 Albion appearances between January and May, contributing to the Championship’s meanest defence as the Seagulls conceded just 15 goals during that time.

Upson will join up with the squad this morning and travel to Madrid for the pre-season training camp on Sunday.

Burke added, “His experience will bring more impact to the players as he spends more time with them, particularly during pre-season, which is a key time for tactics and strategies to be embedded into the players. Matt has experienced that at the highest level.

“We finished with the best defensive record in the league and we will build on that for the coming season.”

Upson made his name with Arsenal after a reported £2m move from Luton Town in 1997 and he went on to make over 50 appearances for the north London giants during his six-year stay.

During that time he had loans spells at Reading, Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest before signing permanently for Birmingham City for £1m in 2003.

He established himself as a regular Premier League defender with the Blues, while also receiving his full England debut, and racked up 128 appearances at St Andrew’s before a £6m move to West Ham United in 2007.

Upson went on to captain the Hammers and made 144 appearances for the east London side before a free move to Stoke City during the 2011 summer. Upson departed the Britannia Stadium when his contract expired earlier in the summer.