Australia World Cup defender completes Hawthorns move
ALBION have completed the signing of Australia international Jason Davidson from Dutch top-flight club Heracles Almelo for an undisclosed fee.
The 23-year-old left-back has penned a two-year deal, plus a further year’s option in the club’s favour, after passing a Hawthorns medical.
He impressed in all three of Australia’s Group B fixtures against Holland, Spain and Chile in Brazil and will wear the No.14 shirt for the Baggies.
And he becomes Albion's seventh summer signing, following in the footsteps of Craig Gardner, Joleon Lescott, Chris Baird, Brown Ideye, Sebastien Pocognoli and Andre Wisdom.
Head Coach Alan Irvine said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to complete a deal for Jason. He had a fantastic World Cup when he performed very well against three top teams.
“Jason is a good defender who has lots of energy, gets forward well and will give us competition for places at left-back with Sebastien Pocognoli.
“Due to contractual issues with his former club, there’s been a delay in Jason coming. This means he hasn’t trained properly since the World Cup so he’s going to need a little bit of time to catch up before we can expect him to perform at the levels he’s capable of.
“I spoke to Tim Cahill about Jason and he recommended him very, very highly both as a player and character. Tim sees him as a young player who will do extremely well in England and develop even further.”
Davidson, born in Melbourne and the son of former Socceroo Alan Davidson, spent three years from the age of 14 in the Japanese youth development system before returning to his homeland to link up with Hume City.
Amid interest from several clubs across numerous different countries, he opted to venture to Europe later in 2009 and joined Portuguese outfit Pacos de Ferreira.
He made his Primeira Liga debut in January 2010 against FC Porto and went on to enjoy a handful of appearances as well as a loan spell at SC Covilha.
Albion Technical Director Terry Burton said: “We were monitoring Jason before the World Cup and gathered reports on him.
“The World Cup highlighted he is a player with great potential.
“During the World Cup he played against some top players in Arjen Robben, Alexis Sanchez and many others.
“He showed in those games he can hold his own against quality players.”
Davidson completed a switch to Holland in summer 2011 and joined Eredivisie outfit Heracles.
He made over 50 appearances for the Dutch side, scoring twice last season as he established himself as first-choice left-back.
Having already been on the fringes of senior international recognition, Davidson’s form earned him a maiden call-up against Scotland in August 2012 when he made his debut as a second-half substitute.
He has since gone on to make 11 appearances for Australia, including those at this summer’s World Cup.