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ESPN FC  By ESPN

NYCFC signs Benin center-back Cedric Hountondji

Cedric Hountondji previously played in Ligue 1 with Rennes.

New York City FC completed the singing of Benin international center-back Cedric Hountondji on Thursday.

The 23-year-old has spent his entire club career in France and comes to Patrick Vieira's side on a free transfer from Ligue 2's GFC Ajaccio.

"Cedric is a strong player who is dominant aerially and physically, he is excellent in one-v-one situations and is calm on the ball as well," Vieira said in a statement. "We were looking to strengthen our back four and Cedric is someone we were following for a long time.

"He's a young defender with his best years ahead of him and there was a lot of interest in him. I think it says a lot that a young player in Europe wanted to come to us and believes in our project and the ambitions of our football club.

"With Cedric, we will be stronger and I'm really excited about having him with us and adding another quality player to our squad."

Hountondji, who is listed at six feet, four inches, was born in Toulouse and represented France's youth international teams before switching to Benin and making his senior international debut with the Squirrels in a friendly in March.

He played in Ligue 1 with Rennes in the 2013-14 season before going on loan to Ligue 2 clubs Chateauroux and Auxerre, and then moving to GFC Ajaccio in 2016.

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