West Bromwich Albion has revealed they signed Australian left-back Jason Davidson after the player received a huge rap from fellow Socceroo Tim Cahill.
Davidson ended a protracted negotiation with his former club Heracles by putting pen to paper on a two-year deal with the EPL outfit on Tuesday.
The Baggies have a further one-year option for the 23-year-old who played in the Socceroos three World Cup group games in Brazil.
Head Coach Alan Irvine, who worked with Cahill at Everton, told the club’s website: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to complete a deal for Jason. He had a fantastic World Cup when he performed very well against three top teams.
“Jason is a good defender who has lots of energy, gets forward well and will give us competition for places at left-back with Sebastien Pocognoli.
“Due to contractual issues with his former club, there’s been a delay in Jason coming. This means he hasn’t trained properly since the World Cup so he’s going to need a little bit of time to catch up before we can expect him to perform at the levels he’s capable of.
“I spoke to Tim Cahill about Jason and he recommended him very, very highly both as a player and character. Tim sees him as a young player who will do extremely well in England and develop even further.”
Davidson is the Baggies’ seventh signing, with Craig Gardner, Joleon Lescott, Chris Baird, Brown Ideye, Sebastien Pocognoli and Andre Wisdom also heading to the West Midlands club.
In his first interview for West Brom, the Aussie revealed just how influential Cahill was in making his EPL move, describing himself as "very close" to the Socceroo great.
"During the World Cup I had other offers on the table and he said from day one he wanted me to go to the Premier League," Davidson said.
"(Tim) was saying if I get a chance to go to the Premier League, that I should take it.
"When negotiations started with West Brom, I told him about that. He was with the coach at Everton and he only had great words for him.
"He said it was a very good club with potential. It gives youngsters a go. He was someone who persuaded me to come here.
Davidson added: “I would have liked this situation to be finished a lot earlier. I was at a World Cup and I haven’t lost that much fitness. It’s about working hard for the next two weeks and showing the boss what I can do, but it’s a long season.”
Albion Technical Director Terry Burton said Davidson had been on the club’s radar even before he landed in Brazil.
“We were monitoring Jason before the World Cup and gathered reports on him,” Burton told the club’s website.
“The World Cup highlighted he is a player with great potential. During the World Cup he played against some top players in Arjen Robben, Alexis Sanchez and many others.
“He showed in those games he can hold his own against quality players.”
Davidson made more than 50 appearances in the Dutch topflight after joining Heracles in 2011.
But the Socceroo, also the target of Fulham, was involved in a public dispute after the club triggered an automatic contract extension.
Last month he skipped a preseason training camp in Germany to fly to England.
The Australian described his West Brom move as a "dream come true".
“I’m happy to be at a Premier League club, it’s a dream come true for me - I’m happy I’ve signed,” Davidson told the club's website.
“I’m excited to start training and meet my new team-mates.
“Albion are a fantastic club.
“I spoke to a few team-mates in the Socceroos and, with a new head coach here, a few of them had worked under him (Irvine) already.
“I think it’s a club which gives youngsters a go and as a youngster that’s what you want to do, you want to be playing week in, week out.
“I’ve come to play and work hard to make sure I’m in that starting XI.”
— Jason Davidson (@jasondavidson29) August 5, 2014