St Mirren have tied up a shock deal to sign former Manchester United midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba until the end of the season.
And the Cameroon international hopes starring for the Paisley club will provide a pathway to a place at this summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil.
Sir Alex Ferguson paid £3.5million to sign Djemba-Djemba from Nantes back in 2003, but he failed to establish himself at Old Trafford.
He went on to have spells with Aston Villa, Qatar Sports Club, Danish club Odense and Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Now 32, Djemba-Djemba was most recently with Partizan Belgrade but was released at the end of December having made 14 appearances.
Saints boss Danny Lennon moved to land the 24-times capped player to boost his options for the closing part of the season and feels his experience will be hugely beneficial.
‘I am delighted to announce the signing of Eric Djemba-Djemba until the end of the season,’ he told the club website.
‘He is a top drawer player who does a power of work in the defensive midfield area.
‘At times I would have liked to play someone alongside Jim Goodwin in that role to protect the back four and give our creative midfielders more of a license to hit the opponents’ box.
‘Eric has performed that role at the highest level for top European clubs.
‘He wants regular football to ensure he goes to the World Cup with Cameroon this summer and we are happy to give him that platform.’
The deal is still subject to international clearance so it remains to be seen whether Djemba-Djemba – who played at the 2002 World Cup finals – will go straight into the squad for Saints’ William Hill Scottish Cup trip to face Dundee United at Tannadice.
Lennon had already strengthened his squad by adding Adam Campbell, Gregg Wylde and Josh Magennis during the January transfer window.