Former Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia has sealed a return to England after being announced as the new manager of Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Seagulls, who finished sixth last season but were eliminated from the play-offs, confirmed the appointment on Friday, with the 40-year-old agreeing a three-year deal.

Hyypia had previously been at the helm of Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, where his playing career concluded, but left the club in April of this year.

The towering Finn spent a decade at Anfield from 1999 to 2009 and is widely regarded as one of the greatest signings in the Reds' history.

For an outlay of £2.5million, Liverpool received a consummate professional and faultless defender; he racked up 464 appearances and chipped in with 35 goals too.

Hyypia captained the club before Steven Gerrard and was part of the treble-winning team of 2000-01, lifting the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup in one season.

He was present throughout the run to Istanbul and the Reds' fifth European Cup triumph and added a sixth winners' medal to his collection with the 2006 FA Cup.

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"I am absolutely thrilled by this appointment," he said. "Brighton & Hove Albion are an ambitious club and I am very pleased to have been given this opportunity.

"I have looked at the club from top to bottom and I am very impressed by what I've seen at all levels. I am now looking forward to the challenge ahead and our aim is to take the club forward to the next level."