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West Bromwich Albion signs Uruguay captain Diego Lugano


Italy’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (L) catches the ball next to Uruguay’s defender Diego Lugano during their FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 third-place football match, at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador, on June 30, 2013. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL GARCIA (Photo credit should read DANIEL GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

For a club that has spent over €100 million this summer, Paris Saint-Germain isn’t getting much cash in return. On Friday, Uruguayan center back Diego Lugano joined West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League on a free transfer.

In fact, the only money PSG has made this summer was selling Kévin Gameiro to Sevilla for €10 million.

Losing Lugano to West Brom, while it may not hurt a team that just re-signed Thiago Silva and also has recent newcomer Marquinhos, is a steal for the Baggies. Lugano spent last season on loan to Málaga after struggling through injuries in his first season at PSG.

French clubs can only have four players without European Union citizenship, making it tough to justify keeping Lugano if he does not play. He passed his medical exam and signed a two-year contract on Friday, pending international clearance of the transfer.

Lugano should fit in well in England. He likes to push forward, particularly on set pieces, and his prowess in the air will serve him well in a league predicated on a direct style of play. Defensively, the 32-year-old is tenacious and hard-nosed, which served him well in the hostile Turkish league.

For Uruguay, he was named captain prior to its fourth-place finish at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and he led the team to a first-place finish at the 2011 Copa América.

Lugano tweeted his delight at signing for West Brom, calling the Premier League “undoubtedly the best and most competitive league in the world.”

Me siento muy contento de unirme al West Bromwich Albion por los próximos dos años. Estoy cumpliendo un gusto que me faltaba en mi...

— Diego Lugano (@DiegoLuganoorg) August 2, 2013

carrera, el de jugar en la Premier League. Sin dudas la liga más linda y competitiva del mundo.

— Diego Lugano (@DiegoLuganoorg) August 2, 2013

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