Brighton and Hove Albion have agreed a deal to sign Portland Timbers captain Liam Ridgewell on a loan deal from January 2, the club has confirmed.

The 31 year old will sign for The Seagulls after a successful season in the MLS, in which the side he captains won the title.

He has good experience in English football having played for West Midlands trio Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion and can operate comfortably at either centre back or left back.

Ridgewell will begin training with Brighton immediately and the deal will go through when the January window opens.

Subject to international clearance, Ridgewell will probably first be available to make his debut on January 9, against Hull City in the FA Cup.

His loan period runs up until February 13, meaning the last game he can feature in is Brighton’s game against bottom of the league Bolton Wanderers.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton said: “I know Liam very well from my time as manager at Birmingham City, and he is an excellent and important addition for us.”

“He will bring extra experience to our defence at a crucial time, and will give me an option both in the centre of defence and at left-back.”

“Liam has played the vast majority of his career in the Premier League – with more than 350 senior appearances; he’s also got experience of the Europa League and Championship from his time at Birmingham.”

Ridgewell signed for current club Portland Timbers in June 2014 and captained them to the US title on December 6, a result which he described as ‘the best feeling of my career’.

He will add experience to a Brighton side who have been exceptional this season and occupy 4th place in the Championship.

They recently lost their unbeaten record with a home defeat to Middlesborough and then lost to Ipswich Town last night, but it has still been a superb season for a Brighton side who weren’t tipped for promotion.

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First year Journalism Studies student at The University of Sheffield. Bradford City supporter. Lover of all things football.

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