The LA Galaxy announced the signing of Dutch international Nigel de Jong on Wednesday, bolstering their engine room with one of the fiercest defensive midfielders in the world.
A two-time FIFA World Cup veteran, De Jong joins LA from AC Milan, where he served as team captain and made 79 league appearances from 2012-2015. Acquired using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM), he will be added as an International to the team’s roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
“Nigel is an experienced midfielder who will help the players around him get better,” said Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena in a club statement. “He will add qualities on the field that can strengthen our team in all areas. We look forward to Nigel coming to Los Angeles and joining our club.”
De Jong, 31, began his professional career in 2002 and has featured in top leagues across Europe, including stints with Ajax (Netherlands), Hamburger SV (Germany), Manchester City (England), and Milan (Italy). He has played in multiple FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro, and UEFA Champions League matches during his professional and international career.
The Dutchman’s career started in his native country when he joined Ajax in 2002, scoring his first professional goal a year later in a UEFA Champions League match against Arsenal. He went on to make nearly 100 appearances for Ajax, while leading the team to the Eredivisie title during the 2003-04 season. He also earned honors as the Ajax Player of the Season in 2004.
In 2006, de Jong moved to the Bundesliga when he signed with Hamburger SV and featured for the German side through 2009, making over 60 appearances. De Jong then joined Manchester City in the Barclay’s Premier League, where he played from 2009-12 and won the Barclay’s Premier League title (2011-12) and an FA Cup trophy (2010-11).
Internationally, de Jong has featured extensively for the Netherlands since his debut in 2004, making 81 international appearances overall. He represented the Dutch at the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and 2014 and helped his country qualify in 2006 before suffering an injury that kept him out of the tournament. In 2010, he helped lead Netherlands to the FIFA World Cup Final.