Owen Coyle has raided his contacts book to try to save Ross County’s season and on paper, it looks like he’s pulled off a coup by bringing David Ngog to the club.
Turning to a player who has found the net against Man Utd and Arsenal in his career to save the club from relegation is probably not a luxury County fans were expecting.
The Staggies are no strangers to a January transfer window signing but rarely have they managed to bring in someone with the pedigree of Ngog, a player who even casual fans of English football will be familiar with.
The big question will be whether the 28-year-old is anywhere near the standard he was at when he played for Liverpool for three seasons between 2008 and 2011.
Coyle’s contacts in the game will have been a major selling point when he took over from Jim McIntyre last year but with County struggling at the foot of the Scottish Premiership, it’s imperative that he’s got this one right.
While never a regular starter at Liverpool, the form of Fernando Torres often reduced him to the role of impact sub, Ngog did score 19 goals in 94 appearances and played for the club 23 times in Europe.
Torres left in January 2011 but the big-money signings of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll limited his opportunities and he left for Coyle’s Bolton in a £4m switch in August 2011.
Neither player nor manager had an enjoyable time there however as the Trotters were relegated in May 2012 and Coyle was sacked five months later after a sluggish start to life in the Championship.
His recent record for Stade de Reims in France and Panionios in Greece might not be much to shout about but as he’s still only 28, you’d expect him to still have some of the pace which helped make his name.
Ngog started his career at Paris Saint-Germain but made a £2.5m switch to Liverpool after being sold on the move by his older cousin, ex-Rangers and Newcastle defender Jean-Alain Boumsong.
Between Boumsong and Coyle, the former France U21 cap has obviously been convinced he can make a big impact in Scotland but as a player who has never been a regular goalscorer, is he the man to lead County to safety?
David Ngog’s career stats
- 2006-2008 Paris Saint-Germain: 19 appearances, 3 goals
- 2008-2011 Liverpool: 94 appearances, 19 goals
- 2011-2014 Bolton: 91 appearances, 16 goals
- 2014 Swansea: 3 appearances, 0 goals
- 2014-16 Stade de Reims: 44 appearances, 10 goals
- 2016-2017: Panionios: 12 appearances, 1 goal