Fleetwood tried and failed to lure him away from Leeds United in the summer, but now head coach Uwe Rosler has finally got his man and the experience he desired in midfielder Toumani Diagouraga.
The 30-year-old did leave Championship Leeds by mutual consent in August and has since enjoyed a blistering three-month spell at Plymouth that helped fire them into the top half of League One.
The Frenchman has attracted interest from across the division and the Championship but Rosler, who worked with the midfielder at Brentford, is pleased they are teaming up once again.
Diagouraga went on to clinch promotion with the Bees after Rosler’s departure for Wigan. Spells at Leeds, Ipswich and Argyle followed for the player, who officially joins Town tomorrow.
Rolser is hopeful Diagouraga can add leadership to his young midfield and stability on the pitch.
The Town boss said: “He knows me and we made him a competitive offer, but also a major point was that he also wanted to come back up North because his family was always in the North West. Those three points probably made up his decision to choose us.
“We need some players who have been there and done it. Toumani has won promotion and has played in the Championship and League One for many years, so he knows exactly what this league is about.
“He is a good lad, a good professional, a solid citizen. Our many young players need someone to look up to and lean on when things are getting difficult at times.”
Rosler says the midfielder will train with his new team-mates for the first time tomorrow and will be in contention for Saturday’s league clash at Southend, like fellow new boys Paddy Madden and Gethin Jones.
Rosler says he knows exactly what he is getting from the in-form Diagouraga, who scored in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Bury which ended his short-term deal in Devon.
Rosler added: “He is contracted until January 9 at Plymouth, so from Wednesday he is officially our player.
“He is experienced and that is what we need. Our midfield since Bobby (Grant) was injured has been very young. I think Kyle Dempsey, George Glendon, Jack Sowerby and Harrison Biggins will massively benefit from having Toumani in the midfield.
“Bobby can also give us experience and know-how in midfield but he can also play higher up on the pitch. We will have a more balanced squad in my opinion.
“The good thing with Toumani is that he has been completely match-ready.
“He has played every game for two and a half to three months and has been part of a successful run at Plymouth.
“He scored three goals. He is in a good form and we looked at him in the summer, when he was contracted with Leeds but he was too expensive for us.
“We never lost him out of our sights. He was now affordable and wanted to join us, and I know exactly what I get from Toumani.
He knows exactly how I work and I’m delighted that he chose to work with me again after our successful time at Brentford.”