Thursday, June 9th, 2016
Bristol City have agreed to sign Gary O’Neil from Norwich City.
The 33-year-old is out of contract at Carrow Road this summer and has opted to leave Norwich, who are expected to challenge for an immediate return to the Premier League, in favour of a move to BS3.
O’Neil boasts an impressive CV with over 400 league appearances to his name in the top two divisions, including more than 200 in the Premier League, also winning promotion to the top flight four times with four different clubs.
The midfielder has penned a two-year deal at Ashton Gate.
City head coach Johnson said: “Gary is a really good signing for us, who adds everything we need to our midfield.
“He’s very experienced, having won promotion from the Championship on four occasions. He may have just turned 33, but he’s still fully mobile and very fit.
“He’s a really good decision maker who can be a coach’s eyes and ears on the pitch, whilst also adding value to our younger players by helping us to manage games tactically – both in and out of possession.
“It’s important for us to get the balance right between youth and experience, and he’s a fantastic character to have around the club. I’m thoroughly looking forward to working with him.”
O’Neil has been playing senior football since the age of 16, when he made his debut for Portsmouth.
After progressing through the ranks at Fratton Park, he went on to make 192 appearances for the South Coast club and won the Player of the Year award in 2005/06.
Having captained Pompey and England Under-21s, O’Neil became skipper again at his next club, Middlesbrough, where he continued to ply his trade in the top flight.
The Londoner then tasted Championship play-off success three times in four seasons with West Ham United, Queens Park Rangers and Norwich, following his maiden promotion at Portsmouth as a teenager.
O’Neil played 27 times in the Premier League last season and captained the Canaries on several occasions.