Brentford have signed Denmark international central defender Mathias Jørgensen on a one-year contract, subject to confirmation of a work permit and international clearance. The tall, experienced defender is better known as Zanka and is currently without a club after leaving Turkish side Fenerbahçe S.K. this summer. There is also a club option for Zanka to stay until the summer of 2023.
Zanka, 31, arrives in West London as the next stop on a career that has seen him play 35 times for his country and feature for five clubs in five different countries. He has Premier League experience, playing for Huddersfield Town when they had two years in the top flight between 2017 and 2019. Zanka spent last season on loan from Fenerbahçe to Danish Superliga side FC Copenhagen and helped them finish third.
Thomas Frank, Brentford FC Head Coach, said: “We are pleased that we could strengthen our squad and bring in a top quality experienced player to the group. This was especially important after Mads Bech picked up an injury.
“Zanka brings a wealth of experience from different leagues and a lot of international games, he has also played in the Premier League before. That experience and leadership is especially important, and it is great to get him in. Zanka is player that is defensively strong, he is aware of how we like to defend, has very good positioning and has quality on the ball. We think he can play in any of the three central defensive positions.”
Copenhagen were Zanka’s first club, and he has had three spells with the 13-time Danish champions, playing a role in five of their title wins. He spent two years with PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands and joined Fenerbahçe in 2019. He spent time on loan at Fortuna Düsseldorf, in Germany, as well as back at Copenhagen.
Zanka also has a vast amount of experience of international football. He has played 35 times for Denmark and was part of the squad that reached the Semi-Finals of the delayed UEFA European Championships 2020, played this summer. He also played, and scored one of his two international goals, for Denmark in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.