Derby County have completed the signing of Wigan Athletic defender Nathan Byrne ahead of this weekend’s 2020/21 Sky Bet Championship opener against Reading, subject to EFL clearance.
The 28-year-old right-back has joined Derby from Sky Bet League 1 side Wigan Athletic for an undisclosed fee.
Byrne has signed a two-year deal with the Rams, which will run until the summer of 2022, after successfully completing a medical at Moor Farm earlier today.
The defender could make his Derby debut in Saturday’s Championship curtain-raiser against Reading at Pride Park Stadium (3pm kick-off).
Byrne will provide another option for manager Phillip Cocu to call upon at right-back, following Jayden Bogle’s departure to Premier League side Sheffield United earlier this week.
The full-back has over 100 appearances at Championship level to his name, while he also displayed his attacking qualities last term as he recorded eight assists from 39 league outings.
Reacting to the signing, Cocu said: “We are pleased to welcome Nathan Byrne to Derby County as our latest signing.
“Nathan, we believe, has qualities that will suit our style of play. He is a right-back that has both the ability to defend well and make an impact when going forward to support the attack.
“He has good experience for his age, playing over 300 games so far, and this is a signing that will complement the balance we are looking to achieve within our squad.”
St Albans-born Byrne began his career at Tottenham Hotspur and, although he didn’t make a senior appearance for the club, he had spells out on loan in the EFL at Brentford, AFC Bournemouth, Crawley Town and Swindon Town over the course of the 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons.
Byrne went on to join Swindon permanently in the summer of 2013 and recorded in excess of 100 appearances for the Robins.
His impressive displays caught the attention of clubs higher up the EFL, notably after being named in the PFA League 1 Team of the Year for the 2014/15 season, and in September 2015 Byrne joined Wolverhampton Wanderers, who were then in the Championship.
Byrne spent the 2015/16 campaign at Molineux, making 24 appearances, before he was on the move again in August 2016 as he sealed a switch north to Wigan Athletic.
During his time with the Latics, Byrne was a regular in their backline and, after a brief loan spell at Charlton Athletic in the second half of the 2016/17 season, he returned to the DW Stadium to star during their title-winning campaign in League 1 during the 2017/18 season.
As well as claiming a league winner’s medal and being named in the League 1 Team of the Season, he was also crowned as Wigan’s Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season.
Byrne racked up 136 appearances during his time with Wigan, where he played alongside another Derby summer signing in goalkeeper David Marshall.
The Rams’ latest addition has recorded a total of 323 appearances in club football, scoring 17 times.