Dutch legend Davids signs on at Crystal Palace

Days after Craig Bellamy’s surprising move to hometown club Cardiff City, another well-known footballer has signed on the dotted line with a Championship club, as legendary Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids has agreed a pay-as-you-play deal with Crystal Palace.

The 37-year-old Davids hasn’t played competitively since his second stint at Ajax came to a close at the end of the 2007/08 season. This will be his second go-round in London, after making 41 appearances for Tottenham in the 2005/06 and 2006/07 seasons before returning to Ajax in January 2007. However, it isn’t the first time he’s entertained a move to the Championship, as he held talks with Leicester City over a move last October before talks broke down.

Davids started his career at Ajax before moving to AC Milan in 1996. He spent a season there before moving to Juventus, where he would remain until 2004, when he moved on loan to Barcelona that January and then inked a permanent deal with Inter Milan that summer. After only one season at Inter, he joined Tottenham in the summer of 2005 and remained there until making his aforementioned Ajax return in January 2007.

For his career, Davids has more than 500 appearances and has scored nearly 40 goals, and he also earned 74 caps for the Dutch national team from 1994-2005, scoring six goals.

Davids, who has a home in London, could make his Palace debut next Saturday away to Scunthorpe United, appears to be ready to dive headfirst into his return to competitive football. “I’m sharp, and fit as well.”

“I’ve trained with Ajax for the last few weeks, but the Championship is one of the strongest leagues in the world after the Premier League. If you look at Serie A the league under it, Serie B, isn’t as strong as the Championship. It’s a very physical league, so it will be a big challenge for me. I won’t be underestimating it.

“Let’s just have fun. I’ll give it my all and see where it leads to. I can play left-back, I can play in midfield or on the left or right wings. I’ll play where the team needs me. It is an exciting time for the football club, and it is an exciting time for me. I just want to enjoy football and show the best I can do.”

Palace manager George Burley said of his new marquee signing, “We spoke to Edgar and had a meeting with him earlier in the week.”

“The boy felt enthusiasm and he has been training with Ajax, but now it’s good to see us agree terms with him.”

Palace confirmed on Friday that they have exited administration, which brought an end to their transfer embargo, and along with signing Davids, have picked up young Tottenham striker Jonathan Obika and Ipswich forward Pablo Counago on season-long loan deals.

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