Arsenal has today signed French defender Mikael Silvestre on a two year deal having joined the Gunners from Manchester United for an undisclosed fee.

Silvestre (31), an experienced and versatile player, has been with Manchester United since 1999 winning a host of domestic honours including four Premier League titles, one FA Cup winner’s medal and a League Cup winner’s medal. Silvestre was also part of the UEFA Champions League winning side of 2008 and made a total of 361 appearances for the Manchester side, scoring 10 goals.

Silvestre, who debuted for French national side in 2001, has also made a total of 40 appearances for Les Bleus. Highlights of his international career so far are winning the Confederations Cup in both 2001 and 2003 and reaching the World Cup Final in 2006. 

Mikael said on signing for the Gunners: “I’ve spent a large part of my career at United, the last nine years, and I’ll remember that time fondly but feel I’m ready for a new challenge. Arsenal is known for playing technical and skilful football, and has a young but experienced squad. I’m really excited about this next stage of my career, hopefully playing my part in helping the Club to new successes.”  

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger said: “We have a strong squad but a young squad and Mikael’s versatility, experience and calibre will provide the extra depth we need to reinforce our challenge for honours this season. His defensive adaptability will serve us well and it’s a big plus that Mikael has top level experience and a great understanding of football in the Premier League.”

Mikael will join up with his team-mates immediately and will wear shirt number 18.

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20 Aug 2008