Liam Fontaine is set to make an immediate debut for Hibs in tonight’s League Cup clash with Dumbarton as he arrived at Easter Road in the wake of Michael Nelson’s departure.
The 28-year-old defender became head coach Alan Stubbs’ sixth signing of the summer today after agreeing a one-year contract.
Fontaine was released by Bristol City, where he had made nearly 300 appearances, at the end of last season.
And, with Nelson joining Cambridge United today and Paul Hanlon still struggling with the knee injury which has kept him out of Hibs’ last two matches, former England Under-20 player Fontaine will be pitched straight into action in tonight’s first-round tie.
The one-time target of a £1 million bid from former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, Fontaine began his career with Fulham but spent spells on loan with Yeovil, Kilmarnock – where he made five appearances including three against Hearts – and Bristol City before moving to the West Country on a permanent basis in 2006.
Fontaine said: “I’m really excited about the move and the challenge of getting Hibs back into the Premiership.
“There were a few factors that made me sign – the prospect of working with the manager, becoming part of a young, hungry squad and the opportunity of playing for such a big club with great supporters.
“Everything pointed towards this being the right move for me and, after spending the last eight years down at Bristol City, coming up here is a fresh challenge and one I’m looking forward to.”
Stubbs believes the signing will add further quality to the Hibs team.
He told Hibs TV: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to bring Liam to the club – this is a transfer that we’ve been working on for the past two weeks.
“So it’s very pleasing that all of that hard work has come to fruition and that we’ve recruited an excellent centre-half.
“Liam is a real quality signing, who will undoubtedly add a huge amount to the squad and further strengthen our defence.
“We did our homework on him – both as a player and as a person – and he ticked all the right boxes and he has immediately bought into what we’re trying to achieve at the club.”