Dundee manager James McPake sees similarities between new boy Jason Cummings and former Dee goalscoring favourite Leigh Griffiths.
The Dens gaffer played with both during his time at Hibs and says Cummings has returned from his stint down south “an all-round better player”.
A Championship winner with the Easter Road outfit, Cummings joined the Dark Blues on an 18-month contract last week after leaving Shrewsbury Town.
The 25-year-old hadn’t long emerged as a first-team player when McPake departed for Dundee in 2014 but soon started knocking the goals in following the Hibees relegation.
Tallies of 18, 18 and 19 Championship goals as he won the Scottish Cup and second-tier title before English Championship side Nottingham Forest came calling.
He would go on to loan spells with Rangers, Peterborough and Luton before joining Shrewsbury.
That experience has made a huge difference says his former team-mate and now boss McPake.
“He is looking very sharp,” said the Dens gaffer.
“He’s the Jason Cummings I remember from Hibs, technically very good and knocking goals in. He’s developed into an all-round better player since I last worked with him.
“He’s very similar to the way Leigh Griffiths was.
“He was all about goals when I first knew him but to be a striker there are other elements and you can see wee bits and pieces of hold-up play and whatever.
“I’m not comparing them like for like but both have a lovely left foot and love scoring goals.
“Jason is a clever player and it’s always been there. He’s an all-round better player but he’s still got what we are looking for and it’s that instinct to score goals.
“It’s a pity because in a normal season the dressing-room would be great at the minute with the characters in there.
“We have strong characters, bubbly characters and then there’s Jason. In training, he’s in one day and is talking away to everybody. He brings people together and a good signing I think.”
McGhee out for months
McPake also revealed he’d be without key man Jordan McGhee for much of the remaining season with his recovery from surgery likely to take three months.
The former Hearts man had made himself a vital part of the Dundee midfield after moving from his usual defensive position against Inverness in November.
Caley Thistle are the opponents again this weekend, though McGhee will have to watch on from the sidelines after going under the knife to repair a bad shoulder muscle injury.
“McGhee has had his surgery and it looks like 12 weeks for him which is a blow,” McPake said.
“It was a problem with a muscle in his shoulder, it was completely torn off. It’s been repaired now.
“Credit to Jordan, he was maybe a bit brave for his own good in playing on with it and that wouldn’t have been easy even playing 10 minutes.
“He just thought it was a knock but he’ll start his rehab next week.”
McPake confirmed he’s enquired about taking highly-rated young midfielder Ewan Henderson on loan from Celtic, as revealed by the Courier.
The Scotland U/21 international has featured three times for Celtic this season, including in the Europa League.
However, the blow of losing McGhee for much of the season has seen McPake scour the loan market with Championship clubs able to bring in temporary deals until the end of February.
Whether Henderson arrives at Dens, though, remains to be seen.
“There hasn’t been any developments on that,” said McPake.
“We knew about him at Ross County and has played in the Celtic first team this year.
“It came to us at the end of the window but we know it can happen any time this month.
“We are waiting on Celtic.”