Nigel De Jong to LA Galaxy: Latest Transfer Details, Comments and Reaction

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2016

AC Milan's Nigel de Jong, right, challenges for the ball with Verona’s Federico Viviani during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Hellas Verona at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Dec. 13 , 2015. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

The L.A. Galaxy announced the signing of AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong on Wednesday.  

In a statement on the club's official website, the Galaxy confirmed the capture of the Dutch international, who will join the club as an International player.

Per the statement he will join the squad "pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa."

De Jong believes now is the right time to make the switch to MLS. According to Adam Serrano of the club's official website, he said: "I thought that it would be the perfect time for me to go to the States because of my age. Instead of being a little bit older, I’ll be heading over in the best part of my career. That's when I decided that I wanted to go to the Galaxy."

He added:

If you see the last couple years of my career, on the pitch you can see that I’m 100 percent and dedicated to the game no matter what club that I play for. I take no prisoners, but I always play with respect. I do my best for the team. At the end of the day, it’s about winning. No matter how you play, it’s always about three points. I think that I’m a strong character on the pitch, and I’m heading to Los Angeles to win.

Manager Bruce Arena believes the 31-year-old will prove an excellent signing. Per the statement, he said: "Nigel is an experienced midfielder who will help the players around him get better. He will add qualities on the field that can strengthen our team in all areas. We look forward to Nigel coming to Los Angeles and joining our club."

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Midfielder Steven Gerrard, who played against De Jong during the latter's spell with Manchester City, hailed the enforcer as "one of the best at what he does":

Indeed, the Netherlands international's arrival should benefit Gerrard greatly, as his physical presence and work rate will not only ease the workload on the 35-year-old's legs but also give him more time on the ball, akin to the system Juventus deployed last season with Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio covering for Andrea Pirlo.

De Jong, who played in the 2010 World Cup final as one of his 81 caps with the Oranje, will add huge experience to L.A.'s squad having played across Europe, with Ajax and Hamburger SV among his impressive array of former employers.

Per Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl, De Jong will become a Designated Player at the StubHub Center:

Grant Wahl @GrantWahl

MLS says a few players have come in as non-DPs but became DPs when options exercised: Adi, Plata, Cubo. DeJong now too. Others came on loan.

Sports writer Kevin Baxter noted the Galaxy have made significant gains in the transfer market at little cost:

Kevin Baxter @kbaxter11

#LAGalaxy signings of free transfers De Jong, Ashley Cole and Jelle Van Damme cost team less than $1.7 million combined.

ESPN's Maximiliano Bretos and Taylor Twellman gave their take:

Maximiliano Bretos @mbretosESPN

So #LAGalaxy do sign Ashley Cole, Jelle Van Damme, Nigel DeJong. They arrive with little approval, lower expectations. #dangerous.

Taylor Twellman @TaylorTwellman

Nigel de Jong coming to @LAGalaxy is a very smart foreign signing. Age and the void he fills ultimately will make the difference for Bruce.

The midfielder follows Ashley Cole to the West Coast as another experienced international player, and with the likes of Gerrard, Robbie Keane and Giovani dos Santos already in the squad, Arena's side will have their eyes firmly set on the MLS Cup this season.

Galaxy missed out last year but have made strong strides to correcting that in 2016 and may well be rewarded for their efforts.

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