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JOLEON Lescott admits the prospect of being reunited with Head Coach Alan Irvine was a ‘massive’ factor in his decision to join Albion.
The England defender, 31, was being chased by a host of Barclays Premier League clubs this summer having brought the curtain down on his five-year stay at Manchester City with a second title winners’ medal in three seasons.
But Albion today won the race for the signature of Birmingham-born Lescott, who will officially join on a Bosman transfer in July.
Lescott worked with Irvine at Everton when the Scot was assistant manager to David Moyes at Goodison Park, while he also played under joint-assistants Keith Downing and Rob Kelly during his early years at Wolves.
Asked how much of a draw Albion’s newly-appointed boss was in his decision, Lescott – who interrupted his holiday in Portugal to sign on the dotted line - replied: “Massive.
“Working with Alan and knowing how he works from Everton. At the time I hadn’t played left-back and he took the time out to guide me and help me out in any way I needed.
“I was reluctant to play at left-back but I knew I was doing a job for the team and Alan helped me with that.
“We’ve stayed in contact throughout the time we haven’t worked together.
“And Keith Downing, I’ve known for years, he was my youth-team manager and has been a massive influence on my career.
“Again, I’ve spoken to him throughout my career and whenever I’ve needed advice I’ll give him a text or a call.
“They’re people I admire in the game.
“Also Rob Kelly was my youth development officer at Wolves when I first started off.
“Knowing them all has made the decision a little bit easier while the location also helps.
“It all just fell into place nicely.”
You can watch the full interview with Albion’s latest recruit below.