Perth Glory backs decision to sign former Arsenal captain William Gallas

New Perth Glory A-League recruit William Gallas Photo: Paul Kane New Perth Glory A-League recruit William Gallas talks to the media with club CEO Jason Brewer. Photo: Paul Kane
Nanjing Night Net

Perth Glory manager Alistair Edwards has hit back to criticism of WA’s signing of former English Premier League star William Gallas.

Although he does believe that five international players per club is too many.

Gallas, 36, a former Arsenal captain, Chelsea and Tottenham defender and French international, arrived in to Perth over the weekend and signed to play for Glory this morning.

He is available for the clash against Adelaide United at nib Stadium on Saturday after passing a medical examination.

Edwards dismissed criticism from former Socceroo Craig Moore who suggested that the A-League should not be focusing on signing foreign defenders as marquee players who are at the end of their careers.

Moore said that he believes A-League club should be filling those positions with home-grown talent.

“I am a massive advocate for foreign imports into the league – particularly quality ones,” Edwards said.

“I believe the current number of five is too many and my preference is to decrease that so we can then develop our own Australian-based players.

“Having said that, we need the foreign talent to come in and it’s great that we can entice world class players into the competition.

“He’s coming in to an environment where we have a lot of young really driven players who want to make a success of their career and what better way to do that than with someone who has had or is still having such a great career.

“Some of the players in the backline in particular are pushing really hard for Socceroos’ selection and if they can harness some little insights in how to be a world class player and play in world class leagues, it’s going to be great for everyone.”

Gallas arrived in to the A-League from English Premier League club Tottenham, where he played 61 games. He also played 101 with Arsenal, 159 with Chelsea and 84 with the French national side.

The former Arsenal skipper played in the 2006 World Cup, where France finished runner-up to Italy.

He was also a senior member of the controversial 2010 team and scored the goal in the qualifying rounds to end the Republic of Ireland’s chances of reaching the finals, after Thierry Henry had handled the ball.

Around 100 Glory fans welcomed Gallas at the airport, which surprised him.

“I didn’t expect that. I want to say thank you to them. I hope at the end of the season, the fans will be very, very happy,” he said. Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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