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Joleon Lescott Signs For West Brom

Clive Brunskill

Fellow Premier League side West Brom have confirmed the signing of former-City defender Joleon Lescott:

ALBION have pulled off a major coup by beating a host of clubs to the signing of England international Joleon Lescott.
The 31-year-old centre-half will officially join the Baggies on a Bosman transfer in July, after passing a Hawthorns medical and penning a two-year contract, plus a further performance-related year's option.

He arrives at the club as a free agent, having seen his five-year stay at Manchester City end with a second Barclays Premier League winners' medal in three seasons.

Lescott will link up with his former coach at Everton, Alan Irvine, who was recently installed as the Baggies manager after they dispensed with the services of both Pepe Mel and Steve Clarke during the 2013/14 season. He has signed a two-year deal with a club option for a further additional year.

Undoubtedly a good signing for West Brom and he will be a solid presence in their defence.

How do we view the success of Lescott's time at the club? A big money signing of Mark Hughes back in 2009 following a protracted transfer from Everton. At £22 million it was certainly a statement signing but it took Lescott some time to settle as it took the sacking of Hughes, and appointment of Roberto Mancini, before City's defence and Lescott found some solidity.

In fact, it wasn't until Kolo Toure's suspension that he really forged a starting place as his own. He and Vincent Kompany would lay the foundation for the title winning season in 2011/12, with Lescott, in my view, outplaying Kompany over the course of the season. Roberto Mancini, with an eye on Europe, felt that Lescott was not the man to necessarily hitch his wagon to and he was ousted early in the 2012/13 season by Matija Nastasic.

Even with Nastasic's injury troubles in 2013/14 it was to be Demichelis, not Lescott, that Manuel Pellegrini placed his faith in but Lescott remained an able deputy and was an excellent team man during the run-in alongside his great friend Micah Richards (what chance on the duo re-uniting at The Hawthorns?).

Whilst he was a solid player during his four seasons at the club is it unfair to suggest that looking back, more could have been expected, despite his superb year and a bit at the end of the 2010/11 season and the Premier League winning season when he truly was excellent and started for England during Euro 2012.

Perhaps though, it was a case of Lescott not quite being able to keep pace with the progress and progression elsewhere in the squad - despite the centre of defence, through injury and form, remaining in flux - in the way in which he stood out at Everton?

Yet, when the dust settles on his time at the club it will be that period when he and Kompany were the bedrock of City's first flush of success that he will be remembered for, and certainly so when he returns with West Brom for the first time this coming season.