When Liam Ridgewell finally put pen to paper for West Bromwich Albion he joined a very elite group of players.
Kevin Phillips, Boaz Myhill, Tony Morley, Curtis Davies and Robert Hopkins are among those who have featured for West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa and Birmingham City at some stage in their careers – though we suspect die-hard Blues fan Hopkins might not admit it.
All of those players had varying degrees of success for each club.
Ridgewell played 93 times for Villa before moving across the Second City to St Andrew’s.
For the blue side of Birmingham he racked up just over 170 appearances in all competitions.
And while the final few months of his stay might not be appreciated by Blues fans – he handed in a transfer request on the final day of the summer window – Roy Hodgson feels the defender, who can play at centre-half and left-back, has nothing to feel sorry for.
“He’s been pretty loyal to clubs he’s been with,” said Hodgson. “His record is outstanding.
“He went to Aston Villa when he was 16, he spent many years with them and now had about five years with Birmingham.
“He’s been a good servant to the club and this was an opportunity to move across the road to a Premier League club because some of the players who played alongisde him were allowed to go in the summer.
“Now the January window has come about, I don’t think it’s terribly wrong of him that if an offer like this comes up that he would like to accept it and both clubs have now reached that agreement.”
Ridgewell has plenty of Premier League experience. But it is also his ability to fill in at left-back and at centre-half which offers up extra options for Hodgson.
The Albion boss is looking forward to having him on board for Saturday’s game against Swansea.
“It’s good to have him here,” added Hodgson. “He was a transfer target in the summer and in this transfer window.
“It can be long and arduous which is often the case in this window. But Dan Ashworth (Albion’s sporting and technical director) and Peter Pannu (Blues’ acting chairman) reached an agreement and he is able to join us now.
“He’s experienced, he’s left sided which is useful to us and he has the added advantage of being used to two positions at left-back and centre-half. He’s used to playing at teams under pressure, in his case to stay in the league. It’s good news for us.”
Ridgewell wasn’t the only arrival on deadline day.
Keith Andrews also signed for a nominal fee late on January 31.
The midfielder made a late dash to the training ground to complete his move from Blackburn.
Hodgson continued: “Keith Andrews is a player I know well and have admired for several years.
“He’s a flexible midfielder who can play in a number of roles across midfield.
“He will bring experience to the squad and also has a good goalscoring record.
“We’re delighted to have him on board as we look to achieve or our primary target, which is to secure a third successive season of Premier League football.”