Aberdeen new boy Funso Ojo reveals how Derek McInnes hijacked Hibernian transfer deal

0
23


He finally got his man when the 27-year-old signed a three-year deal at Pittodrie last night to complete his £125,000 move from Scunthorpe.

The Belgian had initially agreed terms with Hibs but McInnes got on the phone, minutes after their Europa League win over RoPS on Thursday, to persuade him that he should be heading for the Granite City.

His U-turn left Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom frustrated and angered that he lost out on his long-term target.

Ojo said: “I was in Edinburgh when he (McInnes) was still ringing me and he wanted to come get me in the middle of the night.

“I told him I would drive myself up and not to worry about it and he spent the whole day with me.

“We talked about football and other things and he touched something in me.

“I’m really happy to be here. I’ve been here since this morning but it all feels real now. It’s a big relief and the pressure is off my shoulders now. I’m officially an Aberdeen player.”

Ojo admitted he was reluctant to move to Aberdeen until he started to do his own homework.

He added: “I did research online and spoke to certain players. I didn’t want to come up at first based on what people told me and that’s a lesson I’ve learned now. I’m 27 but I’m still learning.

“You have to see for yourself and get your own impression and when I came up I spoke to the gaffer and (head of recruitment) Russ Richardson, who had a big part.

“I saw the city and how big the club is and thought this is the right step for me at this stage of my career.

“The training ground was impressive. I’ve been to some nice training grounds but this one is new and all the technology is going to be state of the art.”

The chance to return to the European arena was another big lure, although he now needs Aberdeen to see off RoPS so he can get a chance in the second qualifying round of the Europa League.

Ojo said: “Europe is a massive attraction. The Champions League is the highest level but the Europa League is right underneath it and there’s nothing like it.

“I’ll be pushing the lads to get the win on Thursday so I can play in the second round.”

Aberdeen boss McInnes is adamant that Ojo will be a key signing within his squad and was delighted that he chose Aberdeen ahead of Hibs.

McInnes said: “I couldn’t be more pleased to get Funso. He is a player who will fulfil a key position within my squad.

“He is a very talented player and I am delighted he has decided to come and work with us at Aberdeen FC.

“He is as excited as we are about working together and it is satisfying that he sees Aberdeen as the best platform for his future career.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here