Back on top: Ben Watson has returned to the Premier League after completing his move from Crystal Palace to Wigan.
Watson is in line to make his debut in Wednesday's match at home to title-chasing Liverpool, just under four years after he last played in the Barclays Premier League.
A delighted Bruce said: 'We have been watching Ben for some time, and believe he has the maturity to step back to the highest level and make an impression.
'He's a midfielder who scores goals, has quick feet, plenty of power and is a terrific prospect.
'I wanted to move quickly to start filling the gap left by Wilson Palacios, and Ben is the start of that process.'
After beating Boro to the punch for a player who was due to be out of contract in the summer, Bruce added: 'It speaks volumes about the progress of the club that we can compete with established Premier League clubs for players.
'I am delighted Ben has agreed to join us. I think our supporters will take to him quickly, because he's a real hundred percenter.'
Watson, who made 21 appearances for Palace in the top flight in their 2004-05relegation season, is confident he has made the right choice.
'It's great to be back in the Premier League,' he said. 'Steve Bruce is the big pull here, and it's a great time to be joining the club and a team who are really flying.
'I want to thank everyone at Palace, and all the supporters, because they have been great to me.
'But this is a terrific opportunity for me to play in the top flight again, and I just felt the time was right for a move for me.'
Wigan are also due to complete the paperwork on Hugo Rodallega's£4.5million move from Necaxa, following the Colombia striker's arrival last Thursday when he had a medical and agreed personal terms.
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