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For whom the bell tolls

Filed: Monday, 8th January 2007
By: Matthew O'Greel

West Ham United have signed midfielder Nigel Quashie from West Bromwich Albion.

The 28-year-old Scottish international becomes Alan Curbishley's second transfer window signing and joins United from the Championship side in a three-and-a-half year deal worth 1.5m (with a further 250,000 payment should United avoid relegation this season).

Curbishley, speaking tonight on whufc.com said:

"We've signed Nigel because he is an experienced player who will add competition to our central midfield positions. He comes in knowing full well the position we are in, and he is confident and convinced that we will be able to get out of the bottom three.

"I have not promised him anything in terms of first team football - he will have to earn it like the rest of the players - but he brings vast experience to the Club and has shown me that he is eager and hungry to do everything he can to help us."

Nunhead-born Quashie began his career with QPR where he spent three years before moving to Nottingham Forest in a 2.5m deal.

He was rescued from a relegated Forest squad by Portsmouth in 2000 - for whom he became something of a crowd favourite - where he spent five years before moving to bitter rivals Southampton along with former manager Harry Redknapp.

Quashie's bad luck continued as the Saints were relegated later that season yet once again he was rescued by a Premiership side - West Bromwich Albion, who also ended up losing their Premiership status.

His signing offers perhaps the clearest indication so far that Nigel Reo-Coker's days at the club could be numbered - although Curbishley attempted to scotch that idea when he added:

"New players coming in doesn't mean I've got to let people go. The competition for places is a factor that will be important to us as we fight to move up the table, and it's up to every member of the squad to prove that they deserve to be in the starting line-up."

* Quashie's departure doesn't appear to have upset too many West Bromwich supporters; one Baggies site (www.wbazone.com) described his 11 months with the club as 'far from successful', adding:

"From the moment he received a red card and five-match ban for kicking George Boateng in only his third game for the Baggies it was clear he had a petulant side.

"In thirty appearances for Albion, Quashie scored one goal, but it was several rumours in recent weeks which upset many Albion supporters. He didn't take to new manager Tony Mowbray, as demonstrated by the midfielder asking to leave the Hawthorns.

"Reports of petulant incidents remain speculative, but one thing is clear, Quashie clearly did not want to remain part of the side he helped relegate and that certainly isn't the character of player I personally would want to see remain at the Hawthorns."

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