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Thursday, 18 January, 2001, 21:42 GMT
West Brom sign Appleton
Michael Appleton
Appleton has scored five times this season
West Brom have signed midfielder Michael Appleton from Preston for 750,000.

The 25-year-old came through a medical at The Hawthorns on Thursday evening.

The Baggies have pursued Appleton for three months and it is hoped he will strengthen the side in the absence of injured star Derek McInnes.

West Brom boss Gary Megson said: "He covers all over the pitch, tackles, isn't embarrassed in possession and gets the odd goal. He is also a winner."

Appleton, a former Manchester United trainee, has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal after agreeing personal terms with Albion.

It is a calculated risk for the club as Appleton is out of contract at the end of the season and would be available on a free transfer.

The hope is that Appleton will boost the club's bid to make it into the Premiership, with the Baggies currently well-placed in the play-offs.

Chief executive John Wile exercised caution, however, and said: "The signing doesn't guarantee us anything."

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