Blackburn Rovers completed Thursday the signing of DR Congo international defender Christopher Samba from German club Hertha Berlin, the English Premiership side announced.

The 22-year-old has signed a three-and-a-half year contract and has become Rovers' third signing during this month's transfer window following the arrival at Ewood Park of midfielder David Dunn and defender Stephen Warnock.

"I'm very grateful that I'm here," Samba told the club's official website three days after Australia defender Lucas Neill finally quit Rovers for Premiership rivals West Ham.

"It is a dream for me to play in England in this league and, at a great club like Blackburn," added Samba, born in Creteil, Paris, but qualified for DR Congo through his father.

Samba, who made 20 appearances in Germany's top-flight Bundesliga after joining Hertha in 2004, got his chance with Rovers having impressed manager Mark Hughes while on trial with the north-west club last week.

"Chris came in last week. We always try to bring players into the club and look at them first hand as I think you get a better idea of what they are about," the former Wales striker and manager added. "He's upwards of 6ft 5in and a big powerful guy."

"Sometimes when you have players of that stature they don't really leap to their maximum height that you would imagine, but he certainly does.

"He's quick enough, he's got a big long stride and covers the ground very easily and is a good passer of the ball.

"We think he is a good addition to our squad."

As Samba has already played for Hertha in this season's UEFA Cup he is ineligible to feature for Rovers in next month's last 32 clash against Germany's Leverkusen.

Blackburn, who are away to Luton Town (struggling at the foot of the second-tier Championship) in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday, are currently tenth in the Premiership.