Tottenham signed defender Ryan Nelsen after he was released from Blackburn, the Premier League club announced Thursday.

Nelsen, 34, captained New Zealand at the 2010 World Cup. Blackburn terminated his contract Tuesday, the day the transfer window ended, meaning Tottenham was able to sign him as a free agent.

He joined Blackburn in 2005 from D.C. United in Major League Soccer, and made 172 Premiership appearances for the Rovers. Nelsen played just one game so far this season for Blackburn, but could start immediately for Tottenham.

Spurs have injury concerns in its defense and Nelsen could play Monday against Liverpool.