Midfield player arrives at ‘The Yorkshire Club’
- Dean Whitehead becomes Huddersfield Town's first summer signing
- Midfielder joins on two year contract
- Chris Powell comments on Dean's arrival
Huddersfield Town has today completed its first signing of the 2015 summer transfer window, with Dean Whitehead joining on a two year contract.
The central midfielder, who can also play at right back, was a free agent having left fellow Sky Bet Championship Middlesbrough at the conclusion of the 2014/15 season.
Whitehead, now 33 years old, has played over 550 games during a 16 year playing career, with over 420 coming in the Premier League and Sky Bet Championship.
He made 21 appearances as Boro reached the Play-Off Final last season, starting at Wembley against Norwich City at right back.
Huddersfield Town Manager Chris Powell commented:
“Bringing Dean Whitehead to the Club was among my top priorities during this transfer window, so I’m delighted to welcome him to Huddersfield Town today. His arrival is testament to our policy of staying patient to ensure we recruit the right players for this Club.
"The Championship is a tough and relentless division and the addition of Dean will mean we are better equipped to deal with the challenges that brings.
“Dean has proven ability and quality that will improve us. He has a vast wealth of experience at the top level of English football. He made a big contribution to a team that was excellent last year and was defensively strong. He's actually played more games than our other senior midfielders – Jacob Butterfield, Conor Coady and Jonathan Hogg – have combined.
“As well as that ability, I have often talked about how important organisation and game management is and I believe Dean will help us with that in the vital midfield area of the pitch for us, whether that is helping to lead us through difficult periods in a game or seeing out a game. He will complement the players we already have and add to the competition and depth of the group and use his experience and know how to help our younger players too.
“The hard work behind the scenes will continue as we look to recruit further in the key areas we have identified to help the Club progress in the coming Sky Bet Championship season, but today's signing is an excellent start.”
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Oxfordshire-born Whitehead started his career at Oxford United in 1999, making his professional debut in the Football League Trophy. He quickly established himself in the team and made 136 appearances for the Club, being voted Players’ Player of the Year as Oxford finished one place outside the Division Three Play-Offs in 2003/04.
He turned down a new contract at the conclusion of that season and subsequently joined Sunderland via tribunal. He immediately became a key player in the team, being named Players’ Player of the Year as the Black Cats gained promotion to the Premier League in his first season.
Dean regularly captained the Sunderland side that gained promotion back to the Premier League once again – this time as champions – in 2007, when he was named in the PFA’s Championship Team of the Year.
After 200 appearances, Dean moved to fellow Premier League side Stoke City for an initial £3 million in July 2009. Whitehead played regularly under Tony Pulis in both the Premier League and Europa League as the Potters finished runners-up in in the 2011 FA Cup Final.
In 2013 he moved to Championship Middlesbrough where he spent two seasons, making 38 appearances in 2013/14 and then 25 last season, including both Play-Off semi-finals and the Wembley final after Boro finished third in the Championship.