Derby fans were given mixed messages after the signing of Efe Ambrose was confirmed.
Picking up a 30-year-old who has won the African Nations Cup, played in the World Cup Finals and helped a Scottish club reach the last 16 of the Champions League ought to be celebrated but you know what they say about statistics.
Whether it was the ‘Bombscare’ nickname or his ability to put in a solid 88 minutes before calamity struck there is no denying the impact that the defender made at Celtic.
Welcome to #DCFC, Efe Ambrose!
The defender has joined the club on a short-term deal, subject to international clearance…
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) February 15, 2019
What a player!! Never injured, plays anywhere, heart on mouth kind of player but defo a fans favourite. Had 1 bad game for hibs
— Fergy Lockhart (@Ferguslockhart) February 15, 2019
Lampard obviously sees enough in him so let’s see how he gets on
— Dale Village (@dalevillage18) February 15, 2019
Far from convinced that this signing strengthens our squad, could have gone better going Non league in transfer window ?
— Derek Bale (@rams4ever1969) February 15, 2019
— Lewis Clay (@lewiscfcgtfc) February 15, 2019
Also beat Barca mate
— eoghan (@EoghanReid_) February 15, 2019
You boys have a very good player there. He is comfortable on the ball and often strolls games. Yes he can be prone to the odd switch off but not often. Don’t expect him at any player events though, boy just doesn’t do them ????
— Freddie White ?? (@Freddiewhite23) February 15, 2019
Enjoy him pic.twitter.com/2miTW6iCq6
— Matt Reid (@mattreid10_) February 15, 2019
One of the best centre half’s to play for hibs , fans favourite , great on the ball and strolls it every week. Yes he can switch off but “bomb scare” absolutely not. Regardless of what other clubs fans say you have a fucker of a player on your hands ???????????????????????? ????????
— Braddley (@braddcampsiex) February 15, 2019
Good luck and best wishes Efe????
Always a warm welcome for you at Easter Road
— Stuart Ainslie (@SIAinslie) February 15, 2019
Cracking player you got there, he went to ibrox with Hibs strolled every single game 2 wins and a draw with him in defence,he is class full of composure had the Huns in his back pocket …. he owned them good luck Efe ????????
— @coonster (@hibeesfamily) February 15, 2019
Good luck big Efe. Tremendous player. Plays holding a cigar. Great goal celebration too!!
— Mikey (@mckinnon410) February 15, 2019
Alongside Kelvin Wilson he formed a cut-price central defence that engineered an incredible win over Barcelona on route to 10 points and a place against Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Before the first leg with Juventus Ambrose helped Nigeria to win the African Nations Cup. A few days later he was rushed into action in the Champions League, cost Neil Lennon’s two avoidable goals as his career went into a tailspin.
Despite the set-backs Lennon took Ambrose on loan to Hibs as they finally escaped the Championship, Hibs fans loved him.
Back in the top flight he has been Hibs most impressive player over an 18 month period, with their celebrated midfield moving on in the summer he brought a measure of stability to the team.
Derby fans have been well briefed what to expect, Frank Lampard has watched the 30-year-old carefully in training and will know all of the baggage.
Daryl Murphy and Teemu Pukki have excelled in The Championship, only a fool would bet against Efe slotting in in the same way as Charlie Mulgrew and Danny Fox have handled life in the second tier of English football.