Premier League

Thomas completes Palace deal

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Wed, 10 Jul 2013 20:02:00

Matt Kilgallon has spoken of his excitement at joining Blackburn and getting his career back on track.

The defender signed a two-year deal with Rovers on Monday having been released by Sunderland during the summer.

"I'm really buzzing to be fair," the 29-year-old told the club's official website. "I didn't have a club at the end of the season after finishing at Sunderland and I wanted to come to a big club, where there were good players and good staff.

"When Blackburn came in, I talked with my family, but it didn't take long to decide that I wanted to come here.

"Just looking at some of the signings that they've made and the players that were already here and how well they finished last season, I knew that the club were going in the right direction.

"I went to see the gaffer and knew straight away that I'd get on with him and his staff, so he made it even easier for me."

Kilgallon made his name with Leeds and Sheffield United before securing a move to Premier League Sunderland in January 2010, however he struggled to establish himself at the Stadium of Light and managed just 26 appearances in total.

"I just want to play games again," he added. "I went to Sunderland and I didn't get my chance. I didn't get to play enough, but that's in the past now and I don't want to go on about that.

"I just want to come here and hopefully get in the team and play games, like I was before I went to Sunderland.

"I was playing Saturday-Tuesday every week, so it was a bit weird for me. But I've got the chance to do that now. I just need to get into the team."

The teenage Spaniard is still to make his mark at Anfield after arriving from Cadiz in July 2010, making just 20 appearances, although he signed a new long-term deal in October last year.

Now Brendan Rodgers has decided that the midfielder's future would be better served by spending the coming campaign with the newly-promoted La Liga outfit.

With Suso yet to make an impact on the Liverpool first-team, Rodgers will hope his stint back in his homeland will see him feature on a more regular basis.

New Almeria boss Francisco Rodriguez, who was recently named as Javi Gracia's replacement, will be keen for the 19-year-old to help his side remain in the Primera Division following their promotion via the play-offs.

The France Under-20 international has signed a three-year deal at the Stadium of Light and becomes the seventh man to join the club since the end of last season.

He has already joined up with his new team-mates and manager Paolo Di Canio at their training camp in Italy.

A product of Le Havre's youth set-up, Ba broke into the first team set-up at the beginning of 2012 and went on to make 12 league appearances.

He follows Valentin Roberge, Modibo Diakite, Cabral, Jozy Altidore, David Moberg Karlsson and Duncan Watmore into the club, and the list of newcomers could be boosted further within the next 24 hours by Velez Sarsfield full-back Gino Peruzzi.

The 30-year-old has signed a two-year deal with Ian Holloway's men after leaving West Brom earlier in the summer.

Thomas' departure from The Hawthorns ended his four-year stay with the Baggies and he has immediately joined his new team-mates at their pre-season camp in Portugal.

Thomas, who started his career with Arsenal but has played for the likes of Charlton, QPR, Portsmouth and Leeds, said Palace's new status plus the lure of working under Holloway had persuaded him to join the Selhurst Park club.

"It was a case of me being on a free and weighing up my options. I wanted to stay at the top level, which is obviously the Premier League," he told his new club's official website.

"I heard of Crystal Palace's interest from January actually, and once they got promoted Ollie gave me a call when I was away on holiday, we had a good talk for about 45 minutes and after that conversation there wasn't much doubt in my mind where I wanted to go.

"I saw them throughout the season and watched the play-offs. Like I said, Ollie's the main factor, but obviously there's a lot of talent here and him and the chairman are planning on bringing in more. It shows what their goals are and I'm definitely looking forward to it.

"I hope I can bring a lot to the team. I've got experience of the Premier League and the gaffer's going to give me the freedom to play how I want to play - my attacking game - which I haven't been able to do for the last couple of seasons. That's what I'm looking forward to."

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