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Derek Adams delighted to sign 'excellent' Eli King for Ross County – and reveals more loans are coming to Dingwall

By Andrew Henderson

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Ross County manager Derek Adams believes the club's latest signing Eli King can help the Staggies unlock defences in the Scottish Premiership.

The 21-year-old Welsh youth international became County's third loan signing of the transfer window, having played under Adams at Morecambe in the first half of the season.

Eli King became the latest loan signing for Ross County this month. Picture: Ken Macpherson
Eli King became the latest loan signing for Ross County this month. Picture: Ken Macpherson

There he impressed in 24 appearances across all competitions, and Adams is confident that he can help County get on the front foot north of the border too after following Brandon Khela and George Wickens in moving to Dingwall.

“I know Eli well because I worked with him at Morecambe," Adams explained.

“He’s here with us now with the idea of going back to Cardiff City next season to go and play first team football. He’s an excellent player.

“George Wickens is a really highly-rated goalkeeper down south, which is important.

“Brandon Khela is a talent. The Ross County supporters are going to see a talented player coming in from the ranks of Birmingham City.

“(It is an opportunity for him at senior level). We’re really fortunate to have him because he is contracted to the biggest agency in the world. You don’t often get a talent like him to come to your club on a first loan.

“He’s one who can take the ball, run with it and he can open up defences and score goals as well. The three signings we’ve made so far will help us."

Adams does not intend on stopping his January transfer business after the arrivals of King, Wickens and Khela.

In fact, he says a fourth new arrival is imminent – and deals have been agreed for two more loan players on top of that.

While former manager Malky Mackay had tried to move the club away from a reliance on loan deals, Adams is happy to make the most of them to bring talented players to the club.

"We’ve made a fourth signing and he will definitely help us as well," Adams added.

“If everything can get done, the four of them will be involved in the 20-man squad for the (Partick Thistle match).

“Then we have agreements in place for another two players to come in on loan, but we’re just waiting for the other clubs to take in players to move those ones out.

“The one we have already here, we’re just waiting on the paperwork being done with a foreign club. He’s from foreign club, but he is English – it’s a player I have known from the past, and someone that I knew could fill the position I need to fill. We are just waiting on the club to finalise.

"The other two are not here and have to be confirmed. We’re hopeful of doing that probably next week.

“We’re adding strength in depth to the squad – it’s important we do that, competition for places has to be strong. We’ve obviously looked at the goalkeeping department and brought competition there, defensively we hope to do that as well, and in midfield and the wider areas as well.

“We only had two players on loan – Scott High and Will Nightingale. We can do seven loans, and I will have seven loans here by the end of the window."

As well as the arrivals to Dingwall, there have been some departures from Adams' squad.

Ben Purrington left on a permanent basis, while Kyle Turner has gone out on loan to Championship side Raith Rovers.

“Ben Purrington was coming to the end of his contract and we picked up a fee," Adams reasoned.

"That was important as it frees up some wages.

“Kyle Turner wanted some game time. I wasn’t going to be able to give him that and he has gone to the Championship with Raith Rovers to get that.

"He is still under contract and we will be watching his progress at Raith Rovers.”

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