Walsall sign former Derby County defender

Walsall complete the signing of former Derby County defender James O'Connor on a free transfer.

Walsall manager Dean Smith has admitted that it's a "big bonus" that James O'Connor has decided to join the club on a free transfer.

O'Connor has moved to the League One outfit after being released by Derby County, and Smith has revealed that the Saddlers beat a number of sides to secure the signing of the versatile defender.

The 43-year-old is quoted by the Express & Star as saying: "We've signed an extremely reliable and solid defender. I played alongside him at Port Vale and he's worked with Richard O'Kelly for a number of years, so we know the character that he is and what he'll bring.

"There were a lot of teams interested in him, but I'm delighted that he's chosen to come here. It certainly is a big bonus for us."

O'Connor is returning to the West Midlands after beginning his career with Aston Villa.

Kevin Lisbie of Leyton Orient attacks during the Sky Bet League One match between Leyton Orient and MK Dons at The Matchroom Stadium on October 12, 2013
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