Branislav Ivanovic returns to Premier League with West Brom


Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, left, and PSG's Maxwell go for the ball during the Champions League second leg quarterfinal soccer match between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, Tuesday, April 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

BIRMINGHAM, England — Branislav Ivanovic sealed a return to the Premier League by signing for promoted team West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday.

The right back spent nine years at Chelsea, winning three league titles and three FA Cups, before joining Zenit St. Petersburg in February 2017. The 36-year-old Ivanovic also brings the experience of playing a record 105 times for Serbia.

“The Premier League is the best league in the world,” Ivanovic said. “I need to challenge myself and I am ready for the challenge.”

West Brom manager Slaven Bilic said Ivanovic had been signed for “the influence he will have on not just defenders but the whole team around him.”

“That’s why we targeted him as one of our prime targets,” Bilic said. “It’s a great signing for us.”

West Brom opened the season with a 3-0 home loss against Leicester on Sunday.

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