Hibs boss Alan Stubbs today revealed he beat off competition from at least six English clubs to land experienced striker Chris Dagnall on a short-term deal.
The 29-year-old, who has been playing for Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League, has agreed to join the Capital club until the end of the season after being given a whirlwind tour of Edinburgh, Easter Road and the training centre at East Mains by Stubbs earlier this week.
Stubbs has been on the trail of Liverpool-born Dagnalll for a number of weeks, believing he will add yet another different option to an already impressive strikeforce.
Dagnall is under contract with Kerala, where he scored six goals in 13 games, until the last day of this month which means he won’t go straight into Stubbs’ plans for Monday’s Championship showdown with Rangers at Ibrox. However, he then becomes a free agent and insisted he’s excited to be joining Hibs where his former Leyton Orient team-mate Marvin Bartley is already playing.
Revealing he had spoken to Bartley about Dagnall, who was Orient’s top scorer last season, Stubbs said: “I already knew what I was getting, but it was nice to have some information first hand from someone who has been with him on the pitch and in the dressing-room.
“Marvin certainly helped in getting an insight into what type of person he is and he had nothing but praise for him, telling me Chris will be a great signing, a great lad to have in the dressing-room.
“From the footage I have seen of him, he is different to what we have in that he is a really hard-working striker who does not give defences a minute’s peace. He’s got a good track record of scoring goals so we are delighted to have got his services.”
Although Dagnall’s arrival will have come as a surprise, Stubbs disclosed Hibs have been working on persuading him to come to Edinburgh for a number of weeks, the head coach having been determined, as the Evening News has highlighted, to get his business in the January transfer window done early.
Healthy half-season ticket sales, according to Stubbs, helped play a part in fulfilling that aim with the hope being Dagnall will be joined by another fresh face, most probably a defender, in the near future.
Stubbs said: “We have been in contact with Chris’ agent for a few weeks knowing he was out of contract at the end of this month and was looking for a club. There was significant interest from good clubs, big clubs down south, at least six, but we had Chris up here for a couple of days to show him round Edinburgh, the stadium and the training ground.
“Edinburgh is a fantastic place to come, particularly at this time of year with all the Christmas lights in the city centre, and Chris was very impressed by everything.
“I spent a bit of time with him on Monday, spoke about a few things and we are delighted to get it over the line.”
Dagnall, who has also played for Tranmere Rovers and Barnsley among others, said: “I’m very excited to be joining the club. I know we are doing really well this season and after coming to speak to the manager and coaching staff I’m really looking forward to joining in with the lads.
“Hopefully, the manager sees something in me that the other players haven’t got and that’s why he’s bringing me in. You’ll get hard work out of me, I’ll work my socks off in each and every game and hopefully get the goals I want to get.”