Charlton Athletic have secured the signing of experienced midfielder Ben Watson on a one-year deal, with the option of a second year.
The 35-year-old was a free agent having left Nottingham Forest in the summer where he was a mainstay in the side, making 77 appearances following his arrival at the City Ground in 2018.
“I’m delighted to be here," said Watson.
"I’ve been with the group for a couple of weeks now, so I’m glad it’s finally done. I’m ready to play and I’m hoping to be involved on Sunday.
"I bring that experience into the training ground, I’ve played a lot of football in my time and I’m really looking forward to this season.”
Speaking of his new arrival, Lee Bowyer said: "To bring in someone like Ben, with the experience that he has, is brilliant. We have a few younger players with us at the moment, so having someone with his experience this season is going to be so important.
"He’s a great player, played at the top level for a long, long time. He was Forest’s captain last season and was excellent for them. They speak so highly of him and they’re disappointed he’s no longer there, so their loss is our gain. I’m delighted that he’s chosen us.”
The signing follows news earlier in the day that Thomas Sandgaard has acquired the club. The new Charlton owner said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to make Ben Watson my first signing as owner. I know he has been training with the team for a while and that he has impressed Lee Bowyer, Steve Gallen and his new teammates, he was one of the best midfielders in the Championship last season, so I am very pleased to have him on board.”
Camberwell-born Watson began his career with Crystal Palace where he played 189 times before earning a move to then-Premier League side Wigan Athletic in 2009. He spent a memorable six years with the Latics and etched his name in history by scoring the goal which won them the FA Cup against Manchester City in 2013.
He made the move to Watford in 2015, again becoming an important part of the Hornets’ side in the Premier League, making 78 appearances prior to his move to Forest.
Watson is eligible to play for the Addicks at Lincoln City on Sunday, subject to EFL and FA approval.
Watch Ben Watson's first interview as a Charlton player below.