Official: Gabriel Tamas Signs
Experienced Romanian defender Gabriel Tamas has today signed a one-year deal with Watford Football Club.
The centre half, who played at now relegated Doncaster Rovers last season from January 2014 onwards, has agreed personal terms on a one-year contract.
The transfer is not subject to a fee payable to Doncaster, as Tamas' contract at the Yorkshire club expires at the end of June. The Romanian will officially join the Hornets on July 1.
Tamas has plenty of experience of English football, having moved to the country in January 2010 when he was loaned to West Bromwich Albion from French club Auxerre.
The 30-year-old made his move to the West Midlands permanent at the end of the 2009/10 season, signing a 3-year deal with the Baggies. In his first season playing for West Brom, the club were promoted to the Premiership under Roberto Di Matteo.
Since leaving West Brom in the summer of 2013, Tamas had a short stay at CFR Cluj, in his native Romania, before a switch back to England in the form of a short-term deal with Doncaster Rovers in January of this year.
The Romanian has played for numerous sides in several countries. Dinamo Bucureşti, Galatasaray, Spartak Moscow, Celta Vigo and AJ Auxerre are all clubs Tamas has played for at some point in his career.
Tamas also has a lot of experience at international level, having played 63 times for the Romanian national team. He also appeared at U16, U19 and U21 level prior to this.
There have been a number of reported incidents surrounding Tamas' private life which have led to untimely exits from certain clubs and a reputation for courting controversy.
In February 2009, the centre half was made to train with the Auxerre reserves after a case of misconduct was levelled against him.
More recently, less than a week after signing a one-year deal with Romanian side CFR Cluj, Tamas' contract was terminated by the club following an incident at a local bar.
The incident that occurred whilst the player was at Cluj led the Chairman, Iuliu Muresan, to state that Tamas has problems with alcohol, and his lifestyle does not suit professional football.
Those who have worked with Tamas in the UK however seem to rate the player's professionalism very highly.
Roberto Di Matteo is very complimentary, stating 'Gabi is an important figure both on and off the field and has a big role to play in helping the club achieve our goals this season,' when asked about the Romanian's standing in the West Brom squad shortly after signing on with the Baggies.
Doncaster manager Paul Dickov is also an admirer. In January, Dickov told the Daily Record:
'I have spoken to lots of people about him, including Steve Clarke and Roy Hodgson. The reports we have had back say if you can sign him, take him.
'He has not played for a while but he is super fit. He loves defending and is comfortable on the ball.'
The questions surrounding the player's attitude and the apparent reputation he has may be somewhat overblown. Our colleagues at Vital Baggies state the Romanian's case succinctly:
'Tamas has been instrumental in helping some of the other new recruits settle into the team as he speaks several languages.
'He is a tremendous asset to the club and is well liked by fans, team mates and club officials, which rather flies in the face of the reputation that he came to the country with.'
In Tamas, Watford have signed a player with proven experience at Championship level, as well as experience of top flight football in England and several other European countries.
Tamas' grasp of several languages will also surely be of benefit to the squad, as once again the Hornets are set to be a multicultural and multilingual group of players.
We at Vital Watford hope that there are no unsavoury stories in the press about our new Romanian recruit whilst he's at the club, and expect the 30-year-old to be an asset to the team with the experience he has.
What do you think of this latest signing? Leave your comments below or send us your views on Twitter: @VitalWatford.