HIBERNIAN have boosted their promotion hopes with the signing of former Ivory Coast Under-23 striker Franck Dja Djédjé, who was encouraged to join the Easter Road club by former defender Sol Bamba.
The 28-year-old has moved to the club from Belarus, where he played most recently for Dinamo Minsk. He has played in the French leagues for several clubs, including Grenoble, Strasbourg and Nice. Dja Djédjé has also played for short spells in Ukraine and Norwegian football.
Dja Djédjé, who has signed a deal until the end of next season, consulted Ivory Coast team-mate Bamba about the move. Palermo defender Bamba, who made 80 appearances for Hibs between 2008 and 2011 and also played for Dunfermline, was happy to state the case for a move to Edinburgh, telling Dja Djédjé he should jump at the chance.
“Sol is a close friend of mine and he told me all about Hibernian, Edinburgh and Scottish football,” he said. “He told me that I should take this opportunity because I would enjoy playing here.
“My objective is to help the club to achieve promotion this year by scoring goals and helping the team.”
Dja Djédjé, who will simply have Djédjé on the back of his shirt, will wear squad No 29 and is available to play in Saturday’s home match against Falkirk.
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His arrival follows the loan signing of Dundee winger Martin Boyle, who made his debut in the 1-1 draw with Hearts on Saturday.
“I’ve heard so many good things about Hibernian and everything seems right about this move, so I cannot wait for it all to begin,” said Dja Djédjé.
Head coach Alan Stubbs, who is keen to further strengthen his squad ahead of the second half of the Championship season, is delighted that Djédjé is now on board. He believes the Ivorian will add extra quality to the squad. “We’re really excited that we’ve managed to get Franck on board – he will give us another dimension in attack,” he told hibernianfc.co.uk.
“Franck is an intelligent player, who has got good movement, he is quick and he scores goals. We’re delighted that we’ve managed to sign him and we welcome him into the squad.”
Hibs are also running the rule over former Celtic trialist Edvard Skagestad. The Norwegian defender, who currently plays for IFK Norrkoping, had a trial with Celtic in 2010 but was allowed to return to Norway. He can play at either centre-half or full-back.
“I received permission from IFK manager Janne Andersson to go to Hibs on trial and I will stay for the week in Edinburgh,” he said yesterday. “I’m hoping to play in a reserve match when I am in Scotland.
“We’ll see how it feels for me and for the club, but of course it would be good to win a move to Hibs. I know quite a lot about Scottish football because I had a trial at Celtic a few years ago. I think it would suit me to play here.”
Meanwhile, vice captain David Gray faces a race against time to be fit for next month’s crucial Championship clash against Rangers as he prepares to undergo groin surgery.
The 26-year-old has been playing through the pain barrier in recent weeks but will finally go under the knife next Monday in a bid to cure the persistent complaint. Depending on the success of the surgery, the capital club expect the full-back, who has been a stand-out performer since his summer arrival from Burton Albion, to be absent for four-to-six weeks.
Gray will miss league fixtures against Falkirk, Queen of the South and Raith Rovers, while he will sit out Hibs’ Scottish Cup fifth-round tie against Arbroath at Easter Road. If the former Manchester United youth player makes a swift recovery from his operation, he could be in contention for a return to action when Hibs face Rangers at Ibrox on Friday, 13 February.
Callum Booth is likely to start in the right-back berth when Hibs host Falkirk at Easter Road on Saturday.
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