QPR swoop to sign veteran centre-back

Hughes hails experience of first summer signing, as centre-back Nelsen joins on a one-year deal

Mark Hughes hailed the vast Premier League experience of Ryan Nelsen after the veteran New Zealand centre-back became QPR’s first signing of the summer on Monday.

Thirty-four-year-old Nelsen joined the club on a one-year deal after being released by Tottenham Hotspur.

Nelsen, whose contract will begin on July 1, has made more than 170 appearances in the top flight, and will captain his country at the London 2012 Olympics.

And Hughes, who brought Nelsen to Blackburn Rovers in 2005, believes the defender will be a valuable addition to the Rangers squad.

“I am delighted to bring Ryan to the club. I know what he is all about and what he can offer us, both on and off the pitch,” said Hughes.

“He hasn’t played a lot of football in the past year or so but he is fit, raring to go, and looking forward to representing his country at the Olympics.

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“Ryan has got great experience in the Premier League and that is something our squad is lacking a little bit at present.

“He’s a fantastic professional with a great work ethic and it will benefit the younger lads in the group to see how he goes about his work.”

Nelsen said: “I have obviously got a lot of history with the manager and that was a massive draw for me.

“I like his winning attitude. He and all his staff just have an absolute desire to win, and that’s what the Premier League is all about.

“If you haven’t got that, you won’t be successful.

“The owners have got fantastic ambition and it’s exciting to become a part of that. There’s a real buzz about the place and it is a privilege to be here.”

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