Northampton have signed David Artell on a two-year deal after he rejected the chance to stay at Port Vale.
The 31-year-old defender
in July after his
exit from Crewe
but turned down an offer of an
alternative contract by the club's administrators.
Northampton boss Aidy Boothroyd told
"He's been promoted three times and he's a senior figure.
"He knows League Two inside out and he's the coagulant that will connect the other bits and pieces."
The Cobblers manager continued: "I think he'll help Joe Widdowson immensely, he'll help his fellow centre-half and the midfield and give the whole club a lift.
"We'll certainly not be a small team but we've got enough footballers in there to prove we're not mugs with the ball either.
"And in a very small squad, with three centre-halves, I can play three at the back or five at the back."
The Cobblers had attempted to bring Clarke Carlisle back to Sixfields, after he captained the Cobblers on loan from Burnley and is
currently without a club.
But Boothroyd says that Artell had been another of their targets earlier in the summer.
"Filling this position has been challenging," said Boothroyd.
"Port Vale was on Dave's doorstep. I got asked [by a journalist] very early on if I'd be bringing him in, and I said absolutely not, because I'd tried and been knocked back.
"Port Vale's loss - unfortunately, as nobody likes to see their situation - is definitely our gain."
Artell has played 374 league matches, having started his career at Rotherham and going on represent Shrewsbury, Mansfield, Chester and Morecambe.
He was Crewe's captain as they won the League Two play-offs in late May but was released five days later.
Cobblers loan goalkeeper Lee Nicholls
has not been given permission by parent club Wigan Athletic to play in the League Cup match against Cardiff City.
"Dean Snedker is a really talented young goalkeeper and I've always believed that you throw talent in at the deep end," said Boothroyd.
"But we've got a senior goalkeeper that we could use. I've still not made my mind up."