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West Bromwich Albion FC Player Profiles

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UPDATED 06:37 7th July 2014

THE versatile defender became Albion’s third signing of summer 2014.

He penned a one-year deal, which includes a further performance-related 12-month option.

Baird was available on a free transfer following the completion of his two-month contract at Burnley, where he helped the Clarets secure automatic promotion to the Barclays Premier League.

The 6ft 1in player had eight years of top-flight experience and 65 caps for Northern Ireland on moving to The Hawthorns.

He can operate at left- and right-back, as a defensive midfield player or at centre-half.

Baird came through the ranks at Southampton and made his first-team debut as a late sub in a Premier League clash with Villa in 2003. Only his second start for the South Coast club came in the 2003 FA Cup final, which the Saints narrowly lost 1-0 to Arsenal.

Baird, who gained valuable experience during short-term loan spells at Albion’s neighbours Walsall and Watford during his early days as a first-team player, made 79 appearances for Southampton before joining Premier League outfit Fulham for a reported £3million-plus fee in the summer of 2007.

He played 160 times during six years at Craven Cottage and was an integral part of Roy Hodgson’s side that reached the Europa League final in 2010, starting alongside another Hawthorns favourite, Zoltan Gera, in the 2-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid. 

After leaving Fulham in summer 2013, Baird, an international team-mate of Chris Brunt and Gareth McAuley, joined Reading before finishing the season on a high with Premier League-bound Burnley.