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Page last updated at 07:13 GMT, Friday, 16 October 2009 08:13 UK

Zenden completes Sunderland move

Boudewijn Zenden
Zenden played for Liverpool in the 2007 Champions League final

Sunderland have signed midfielder Boudewijn Zenden until the end of the season, and have an option to keep the Dutch international for a further year.

As a free agent, Zenden, who had been training with Sunderland after his deal with Marseille expired, was able to join outside of the transfer window.

The 33-year-old is available to face former club Liverpool on Saturday.

"His performances in training persuaded me that he has a valuable role to play this season," said manager Steve Bruce.

Zenden was given clearance to play at the Stadium of Light against the Reds this weekend after Sunderland submitted their paperwork before the mid-day deadline.

He said: "I could get my first minutes against my former team, which would be something special.

"It's obviously a club that is going places. Since the summer, there is a positive vibe.

"The club struggled a bit last year, but looking at the squad, if we can finish in the top 10, and there is always a possibility to qualify for Europe as well if you do well in a cup."

Bruce added: "It was immediately obvious that he is still supremely fit and the move happened fairly quickly.

"He brings international class, a steadying influence and a wide breadth of experience.

"His career is testament to his quality and he gives us more depth in central midfield which is a vital position."

Zenden began his career in 1994 with Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, where he spent four seasons before moving to Spanish giants Barcelona for three years.


Chelsea paid £7.5m for his services in the summer of 2001 and he played for two seasons at Stamford Bridge before being loaned out to Middlesbrough in 2003.

That move was made permanent the following season, but one year later he switched to Liverpool on another free transfer.

He spent two years on Merseyside and played in the Reds 2-1 Champions League final defeat by AC Milan in 2007.

He left for Marseille at the end of that season and spent two seasons at the Stade Velodrome before opting to leave at the end of last season.

He will provide cover in midfield for Sunderland, who are short of numbers in the middle of the park after Dean Whitehead, Grant Leadbitter and Carlos Edwards were sold in the summer while Teemu Tainio was allowed to join Birmingham on loan.

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see also
Sunderland 1-0 Liverpool
17 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Zenden on Champions League
21 Apr 08 |  Europe
Zenden secures Marseille transfer
06 Jul 07 |  Europe
Liverpool have Zenden in sights
02 Jun 05 |  Middlesbrough
Chelsea snap up Zenden
02 Aug 01 |  Chelsea

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