Date: 27th January 2016 at 9:45am
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Brighton and Hove Albion have confirmed the arrival of Steve Sidwell from Stoke City on a loan spell that will run until the end of the current season.

Following the speculation over the weekend about the deal for the 33 year old former Aston Villa, Chelsea and Chelsea midfielder, his medical at the Elite Football Performance Centre went well on Monday, and he penned his deal with us until the end of 2015-16.

Having began his career at Arsenal, he has been with Brighton previously with a two month loan spell back in the 2002-03 season.

Speaking to the Official Site manager Chris Hughton said of his capture.

‘Steve is an experienced player who has played virtually his entire career in the Premier League. He knows this club, as well as a few of the squad and will supplement our existing midfield options. Beram Kayal, Dale Stephens, Andrew Crofts and others have been excellent in midfield for us this season, but we also need to make sure we have good options in every position of the team, and options which will be enough for us through until the end of the season. Steve brings that, and in addition, he is another experienced head; he is a player who’s proven at the very top level of English football. Brighton fans will know Steve is also a great athlete and top professional, so I’m absolutely delighted he has decided to join us.’

With more than 400 career appearances to his name, and the return of 61 goals from midfield, experience is certainly his friend and his previous spell at the club saw 12 games with the return of five goals – so anything similar to that will be very welcome.

Speaking himself following his return, Sidwell said he felt like he had ‘unfinished business’ at the club and when he knew of our interest it was a return he couldn’t say no to.

‘The chapter here never really closed for me. I remember the time I was here before like it was yesterday. It`s a fantastic club even though I was only here for a brief spell and when Reading put the bid in, I did want to stay, but that never materialised. Coming back now, I can see it`s a different place. The Withdean and the university where we trained is far away from this fantastic training ground and stadium, so I can`t wait to get out there.’

Helping him settle will be familiar faces in the shape of former Fulham colleagues Bobby Zamora, Liam Rosenior and David Stockdale.

‘Bobby and I are really close friends and have followed each other`s careers. When he came back here, he had some great things to say about the club. I came here to the training ground last year because my son was playing for the Fulham academy and as I drove through the gates, it blew me away. It will be nice to team up with Bob again and get the ball rolling.’

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