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Derby add Wales international Joe Ledley

(Photo: Action Images via Reuters)

By Alex Beard

Derby County bolstered their midfield last night with the addition of experienced midfielder Joe Ledley, whose contract at Crystal Palace expired at the end of last season.

The former Cardiff and Celtic man moves to Pride Park on a deal until January, and will train with his new club this week – although a debut against Birmingham this weekend would appear to be too soon for the 30-year-old.

Ledley has over 70 caps for Wales and has been an important part of that nation’s renaissance in recent years, forming a key part of the midfield which helped them reach the Euro 2016 semi-finals last summer.

He returns to the Championship for the first time since 2010, when he moved north of the border, and Ledley told Derby’s official website he was thrilled with the move: “Derby is a big club without a shadow of a doubt,” he said.

“I spoke to Chris Coleman [Wales manager] a lot during the summer and he recommended me to a few clubs but I thought this one was right for me at this time and I am looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“I’ve had a session today [Wednesday], it was a long, hard session but I enjoyed it. The facilities are fantastic here – one of the best that I’ve seen for a long time and it is clear this club is going forward.

“I’m also looking forward to meeting up with the lads here on Friday and just being here day-to-day to train and play games again.

“I’ve missed that, but I’ve got that hunger back and I have always been a hungry player.”

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