Adding not just the experience but the quality of Ricky Holmes at this point in the season is extremely hard to come by.
That’s what Mark Molesley said after he signed the former Charlton Athletic and Sheffield United winger earlier today.
The Blues boss was thrilled to secure the signature of boyhood Southend fan Holmes, as he told southendunited.co.uk about his newest signing.
"I’m really pleased," said Molesley. "At this time of the season to add the quality that Ricky has fit, available and ready to play is virtually impossible.
"He has been training and playing in League One earlier this season, so we’re delighted to get him in.
"He’s been training with us for the last couple of weeks and he’s earned this. He’s come in and shown willing, he’s shown his quality, he’s obviously got the experience and he’s a great character.
"He’s also a Southend fan but, more importantly, he’s going to add to the squad."
Holmes has scored 59 goals and grabbed 53 assists in 317 appearances in the EFL for Barnet, Portsmouth, Northampton, Charlton, Sheffield United and Oxford. Before that he scored 67 goals in five years at Chelmsford City.
And Molesley said the 33-year-old will bring great ability in the attacking areas as well as experience.
"The good thing about Ricky is he can play out wide or in the number 10.
"We’re looking for a few more assists and goals and he will certainly help bring that to the team.
"Not only does he provide competition for places and he’s played at a much higher level, but what I like about him is his character.
"He’s done it the hard way, getting knocked back and going down to non-league before moving to some big clubs.
"He still wants to be playing at a good level but probably the Southend connection, he wants to come home.
"We’re hoping he can stay fit and he can really give us that strength in depth."
The Blues boss also thanked the Chairman for supporting him with his latest addition.
"I’ve said all along if we feel we can add the right quality and the right character then we will, and the Chairman has echoed that with his intent to help get this deal done. The Chairman has seen what we’ve seen and he’s enabled us to get Ricky in.
"I’m thankful to him for backing us on this one which I’m sure will be a great acquisition and hopefully a very good marriage for both parties, with Ricky’s connections and feelings for the club, coupled together with his experience and quality.
"He’s probably lacking a little bit of match sharpness but he’s not far away so he’s able to come in and make an immediate impact which is great for us."