Sydney FC has completed the signing of former English Premier League star Jack Rodwell for the next two Isuzu UTE A-League seasons.
The signing is a huge coup for Sydney FC, winning the race to secure the 31-year-old centre-back and defensive midfielder, who was highly sought after following an impressive debut season in Australia.
Having started his career at Everton, he became the youngest player to represent the club in Europe, and went on to star in 109 appearances for the Goodison Park outfit. He was also capped many times for England as a youth international and earned his first cap for the senior England national team in 2011.
His $23m transfer to Manchester City in 2012 was a club record for an under-21 player and he was part of the team that lifted the Premier League title in 2014.
Rodwell then earned a record breaking $19.5 million move to Premier League rivals Sunderland in 2014, the highest fee ever paid by the Black Cats.
After spells with Blackburn and another stint in the Premier League with Sheffield United he moved to Australia last year and signed for the Western Sydney Wanderers.
His impressive form and leadership quality saw Rodwell named as captain of the A-League All-Stars team, who narrowly lost to Barcelona in May.
He makes the cross-town switch to wear the Sky Blue of Sydney FC in the club’s first season back at Allianz Stadium.
“It is such a great feeling to join the most successful club in the country.” said the England international.
“I can’t wait to walk out in the Sky Blue of Sydney FC for the first game against Melbourne in our amazing new home stadium.
“There is so much quality in the squad and combine that with the winning culture at this football club, this season has the potential to be one of the most exciting in our history.
“I still have so much to achieve here in Australia and I look forward to achieving that success with Sydney FC.”
Head Coach Steve Corica said Rodwell would be a perfect fit and his experience and qualities will improve the team.
“Jack’s ability is unquestionable, he’s played at the very highest level and he has adapted to the Australian conditions extremely well,” he said.
“I expect him to get even better this season; he is still in his peak years as a footballer and can excel in various positions.
“We know we had significant competition to secure Jack and we are delighted to have a talent such as his on our books.”
Rodwell has played 167 matches in the English Premier League and has won the English Premier League title and English League Cup once, scoring 21 goals across his career.