West Brom capture former Celtic striker Samaras

West Bromwich Albion confirmed on their official club website that they have completed the signing of prolific Greek international striker Georgios Samaras.

Samaras has joined the Baggies on a free transfer after he was released by Glasgow giants Celtic at the end of the 2013/14 season.

West Brom head coach Alan Irvine expressed his delight at the signing, saying: “We’ve signed a player with vast experience and I’m delighted to welcome Sami to the club.”

Recognising the benefits of the 29-year-old’s vast experience, Irvine continued: “He has played a lot of football at the highest levels – Champions League, European Championships and World Cups – and the feedback we’ve got on him, from people like Neil Lennon, states he thrives on the big occasion. He will certainly play in plenty of those in the Barclays Premier League.”

Samaras came through the youth system of his local team OFI Crete before beginning his senior career in the Netherlands with SC Heerenveen. After four years with the Dutch club, he signed for Manchester City for £6 million in January 2006.

However, he struggled with life in the Premier League, and in January 2008 moved north of the border, joining Celtic where he became something of a cult hero with the Bhoys faithful. In his six and a half years at Celtic Park he bagged 74 goals in 250 appearances in all competitions, winning four Scottish Premier Leagues, two Scottish Cups and a Scottish League Cup.

Samaras also has 77 caps for Greece, and scored the dramatic injury time winning penalty against Ivory Coast in the recent World Cup which saw Greece progress beyond the group stage for the first time in their history.

The signing has come too late for Samaras to play against Southampton this weekend, but he will begin his battle with fellow newcomers Brown Ideye, Saido Berahino and Victor Anichebe for a place in the Albion forward line next week.

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