Craig Gardner looking forward to linking up with former Sunderland team-mate Sessegnon at West Brom

NEW BAGGIE: Craig Gardner
NEW BAGGIE: Craig Gardner

CRAIG GARDNER is looking forward to linking up with former Sunderland team-mate Stephane Sessegnon at West Brom.

Gardner was unveiled as a Baggies player yesterday after penning a three-year deal at the Hawthorns, following his release by Sunderland.

The 27-year-old, who will officially become a West Brom player on July 1, will be reunited with ex-Black Cats colleague Stephane Sessegnon, who joined the Baggies in a £6million move last summer.

Gardner said: “Sess is a top player. He’s a good lad.

“I am looking forward to playing with him again and scoring some goals.”

West Brom had been tracking Gardner for more than two years and saw a January bid rejected by Sunderland for the midfielder.

But the Brummie is glad to have returned to his native West Midlands after previous spells at Birmingham and Aston Villa.

“It’s a pleasure to be here,” he added.

“It’s a great club. I’ve got a lot of friends here and I’m just buzzing that I’m back at home in the Midlands where I enjoy my football the most and feel I play my best football.

“I was linked with West Brom previously and I was just praying it happened this time. Now eventually it has I’m over the moon.

“People say you have to be happy at home to be happy in your job - and when you’ve got your friends and family around you encouraging and supporting you then that’s when you’ll play your best football.”