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Southend United sign former Premier League defender Liam Ridgewell

Liam Ridgwell has signed for Southend United. Credit: PA

Southend United have signed former Aston Villa and Birmingham City defender Liam Ridgewell on a free transfer.

The 35-year-old was a free agent after leaving Championship side Hull City at the end of last season.

Ridgewell, who has also played for West Brom and American side Portland Timbers, has agreed a one-year deal at Roots Hall.

“He’s been top drawer as a professional, the way he’s conducted himself, looks after himself, played at the top level,” manager Kevin Bond said.

“He wants to win, will be demanding and I’m absolutely thrilled to have him with us. To be honest I didn’t think we would be able to get him, but we have.

“He’s still driven, he’s in fantastic condition and I’m so pleased to have such a good professional on board.”

Meanwhile, the Shrimpers have also signed former St Johnstone defender Joe Shaughnessy on a one-year contract, while Ipswich Town have signed defender James Wilson following a successful trial.

Elsewhere in League One, Ben Reeves has returned to MK Dons on a free transfer and Leicester City's Josh Knight has re-joined Peterborough United on a season-long loan.

Norwich City youngsters Rocky Bushiri and Diallang Jaiyesimi have joined Blackpool and Swindon Town respectively on season-long loans, and in League Two, Cambridge United have signed Reading striker Sam Smith on a season-long loan.

Meanwhile, Stevenage have signed former Crystal Palace midfielder Tom Soares and goalkeeper Sacha Bastienon free transfers and Colchester United have snapped up defender Cohen Bramall following his release from Arsenal.

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