Hibs boss Alan Stubbs today revealed that his latest signing, striker Dominique Malonga, had been on his radar long before Easter Road hitman Farid El Alagui was ruled out for up to six months with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Stubbs had been contemplating adding to his strikeforce before top scorer El Alagui was crocked in the 1-0 defeat by Alloa Athletic last Saturday but move quickly to snap up Paris-born Malonga on a two-year deal.
And the head coach believes the 25-year-old, who has played the majority of his career in Italy but also has experience of football in France and Spain, will become a firm favourite with the Capital club’s support.
Claiming Malonga will be a “hugely important addition, he said: “We are delighted to be able to be able to add Dominique to the squad. He is a player we have been looking at for a few weeks. The injury to Farid has since quickened up the process even more.
“He is technically very gifted, quick and looks to get beyond defenders. Dominique will be an important acquisition for the squad, who will hopefully score goals. Overall, we are thrilled to be able to get the deal over the line.”
At 6ft 1in tall, Malonga will add a presence to Hibs’ frontline, his signing following the closure of the summer transfer window on Monday night made possible by the fact he was a free agent. Capped by France at under-19 level, Malonga subsequently opted to play for Congo at senior level.
A youth player with Tours and Monaco, he won promotion to Serie A in Italy with Cesena but had loan spells with Foggia, Vicenza and, in Spain, Real Murcia. Now, he says, he is looking forward to the challenge of the Scottish Championship having become Stubbs ninth signing of the summer.
He said: “I’m very happy to be here and to be given the opportunity to sign for Hibs. My aim is to score goals, to help the team win regularly and hopefully to bring joy to the supporters.
“I’ve won promotion before in Italy so I know what is necessary to make that happen. The manager has impressed me, the squad has impressed me and I am excited about what can be achieved in the future.”