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Monday, 1 July, 2002, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
Wallwork makes Baggies move
Ronnie Wallwork
Wallwork has only had limited opportunites at United
West Brom have completed the signing of defender Ronnie Wallwork from Manchester United on a three-year contract.

Wallwork is the first new arrival since the Baggies achieved promotion to the Premiership and joins on a Bosman free transfer.

The 24-year-old came through the ranks at Old Trafford and was in the same youth team as David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes.


Ronnie will have learnt a lot just by being around very good players and coaches
West Brom boss Gary Megson

But Wallwork failed to make the progression into the first team, starting just nine games and having loan spells at Carlisle, Stockport and Belgian side Royal Antwerp.

He will not have to wait long to show Manchester United what they have let go as West Brom play the Old Trafford club in their opening Premiership fixture.

"It is a great incentive for me to get into the first team, to have my first game for West Brom back at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season," he said.

"I'm really looking forward to that and hopefully getting a result there.

"Gary Megson spoke to me about it and said it's really the ideal start for Albion because we can go there without any pressure on us and just try to cause a bit of a surprise."

Wallwork had interested Birmingham and Portsmouth but chose to join manager Gary Megson's Hawthorns outfit.

West Brom boss Gary Megson
Megson sold the club to Wallwork

Megson is in no doubt the midfielder - who played for him while on loan at Stockport in 1998 - will help the squad make a successful transition to the top flight.

"When supporters watch football this season, you'll find that everything is of a better standard in the Premiership," Megson told the club's website.

"It's not just the ability on the ball, but the workrate, the preparation, every aspect of the game.

"We've got to try and get as close to those sides in every department as we can, and I think Ronnie is one of those players who will help us do that because he knows what it's all about.

"It has been difficult for him, but Alex Ferguson has always kept him in and around the squad, so he's obviously valued by United and he'll have learnt a lot just by being around very good players and coaches."

Megson is now believed to be ready to step up his efforts to sign Preston's 2m-rated midfielder Sean Gregan.

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