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Done deal! Sunderland sign New Zealand international defender Tommy Smith on a free transfer

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Sunderland have completed the signing of New Zealand international defender Tommy Smith on a free transfer.

New Zealand v Portugal: Group A - FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 Photo by Stuart Franklin - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Former Ipswich captain Tommy Smith has signed a short team deal with Sunderland, bolstering Phil Parkinson’s squad in the wake of the news that Bailey Wright has a long term injury.

Smith - a New Zealand international - last played for Colorado Rapids, who he joined just over two years ago after spending his entire career to that point on the books of Ipswich Town.

The 29 year old made over 60 appearances in the MLS, netting seven goals, before declining a new contract offer in November in favour of a return home.

The New Zealand international made 267 league appearances as an Ipswich player, and was a favourite of former Sunderland managers Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy. However, he struggled with fitness towards the end of his time with the East Anglian club and was eventually allowed to leave in order to take on a new challenge in the USA.

Standing at 6’2, Smith is similar to Bailey Wright in stature, and is relatively quick for an aggressive defender.