Southend have signed centre-back Zoltan Liptak from Lombard FC Papa in his native Hungary for £50,000.
The 22-year-old spent pre-season at Roots Hall, and has signed a two-year deal with the option of a further year.
"We were short in central defence after losing Spencer Prior and Efe Sodje," assistant manager Paul Brush told the Shrimpers' website.
"We needed someone with height and potential, and Zoltan ticks a lot of the boxes we are looking for."
Liptak had a trial at Huddersfield in January.