United were delighted to the announce the additions of Jordan Clarke, Jacob Murphy and Tom Hopper over the last 24 hours.Iron assistant manager Ned Kelly gave his verdict on each of the clubs new signings.
Tom Hopper joined on a one-month loan deal from Leicester City on Thursday morning, with his deal running until February 3, and Kelly was the first to thank Foxes boss Nigel Pearson for sanctioning the move for the former Bury loanee.
Kelly said: “We’ve seen quite a bit of him for Leicester U21’s. Both the gaffer and I have good relationships with various members of the coaching staff at Leicester, and we’re delighted that Nigel first and foremost has allowed us to bring Tom here.
"He is a good young talent, a very good player, so we are very much looking forward to working with him.
"He’s a number nine. He scores all sorts of types of goals since we’ve been having a look at him, and we’re really looking forward to him being at the club.
"It’s been a lot of hard work from the gaffer, lots of telephone calls and fortunately Nigel has allowed him to come. There was other interest apparently from what we’ve been told, but we are delighted he’s decided to come here. He’ll be in contention to play at the weekend.”
A few short hours later a second arrival of the day was announced in the signing of Norwich City’s Jacob Murphy, who penned a loan deal which is due to end on February 7.
Jacob spent the last two months on loan at Blackpool in the Sky Bet Championship, where he made nine league appearances, scoring twice, and his dazzling performances at Bloomfield Road caused Iron boss Mark Robins to start making enquiries.
Kelly said: “Jacob’s loan is for 28 days for the start, but moving forward if everyone is happy with it.
"I spoke to (Blackpool boss) Lee Clark about how he’d done there. He is a very exciting player, very quick and very direct, and he’ll just give us another option.
"He can play on both sides really, so we’ll work out what is best for us and obviously what is best for Jacob.
"He’s learned his lessons from the past and we are very excited to have him here.”
The final incoming was full-back Jordan Clarke, who signed a permanent deal with the Iron on Friday, joining the side from Mark Robins’ former club Coventry City.
The defender has featured 14 times in all tournaments for the Sky Blues this season, and more recently seven appearances at Huish Park with Yeovil Town, after spending a short time on loan with Gary Johnson’s men.
Kelly said: “He’s a very good player. The gaffer has worked with him before.
"He can play in both right-back and centre-back, so that’s pleasing if you have a player that can do bits of both.
"He’s very good at right-back as everybody knows, but he has played at centre-half, but we are looking at him playing in the right-back area primarily.
"He quite possibly won’t be in contention for the weekend.”
Ned Kelly was however very tight-lipped over the future of Luke Williams and Liam O’Neil, with the latter already returned to parent club Middlesbrough, and the former due to return to West Brom after Saturday’s game.
Kelly said: “We are in talks again (with O’Neil), trying to get that one over the line.
"Liam’s done very well for us. He’s quite happy here which is obviously very pleasing, and he’s brought an awful lot to the team so we are trying to get Liam to extend.
"The change in management may make it a little more difficult at West Brom, as they need to have a look at their own group themselves, but we’re hopeful.
"Luke’s injured at the moment unfortunately. He’s gone back and his loan ended last weekend so he’s gone back up the road. He has a thigh problem, so that is something we will be keeping an eye on.”
See much more from Ned Kelly on The Iron Player.