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The Toe Poke

Nelsen seals Spurs switch

Tottenham Hotspur have completed the signing of defender Ryan Nelsen on a free transfer.

• Nelsen free to join Spurs
• Bassong happy with Wolves switch

Nelsen, 34, was released from his contract at Blackburn on transfer deadline day and has now completed the switch to White Hart Lane.

A statement on Spurs' official website read: "We are delighted to announce the signing of defender Ryan Nelsen. The New Zealand international joins us from Blackburn Rovers where he spent seven years and made over 200 appearances."

Nelsen says he is excited about the challenge of joining Spurs and the possibility of winning silverware.

"Medals, trophies are things you strive for," Nelsen told New Zealand's 3News. "Blackburn got to five semis and never made a final, so it's very exciting."

Blackburn boss Steve Kean said he was happy to see Nelsen prolong his playing career after coming close to accepting a coaching role.

"He had an offer to become a player-coach at an American club, a situation that he was very excited about," Kean said. "It was over a two-year period and then right at the very last minute Tottenham came in and offered him a short-term contract until the end of the season.

"I don't know if the opportunity in America will still be there, I would imagine so, so he's decided to take a short-term contract. He was a fabulous servant for the club and we wish him all the best, because it's going to be another chapter in his career."

Nelsen has only played one first-team game this year, but assistant manager Kevin Bond revealed that the veteran will be in the Tottenham squad for Monday's Premier League game at Liverpool.

"He is fit and eligible to play on Monday," Bond said. "I've just had a cup of tea with him in the canteen. He is looking forward to the challenge."


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