The departure of defender Tom James can now be confirmed. The 23 year old had been on the club's books for two-and-a-half years, but has now left for Scottish Premiership side Hibernian where he's signed a three year contract, keeping him at Easter Road until June 2022. The transfer fee is undisclosed. Sky Sports have claimed the deal "includes several nominal fees depending on his performances".
Rumours that James was on his way up to Scotland circulated last Friday and escalated when he was spotted at a Testimonial Dinner in Edinburgh on Sunday night. Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom has said of the deal:
"We're really pleased to have Tom on board. He's a highly-rated young player who can operate in a number of positions, which is obviously advantageous when we want to run with a smaller group. I know Tom well and we have seen him play many times. I'm delighted he has bought into what we want to achieve here because he had a lot of other offers. Tom has good quality, is composed on the ball and has a great attitude to improve. We look forward to working with him."
The former Cardiff City Academy player made 96 appearances for the club, scoring eight goals. Having mainly occupied a right-back position during that time, the club will need to recruit in that area, although the big loss will be his versatility, with him having occupied centre-back, left-back and defensive midfielder positions at various points during that time. Tom has said of his arrival in Scotland:
"The gaffer's presentation was very detailed which, straight away, showed how keen he was on me. As a footballer that's what you want. You want the manager to be on your side from the start and I feel like he definitely is. I want to repay him for that. I think he wants me to be a full-back who gets forward, creates chances for others and a few for myself. First and foremost, my job is to defend but I do like to get up and down the flank for the full game, though I did play all the way across the back four last season and occasionally in the centre of midfield. It was definitely the gaffer who swung it for me. He showed how much he wanted me with the detail he went into and the way he spoke about how he wants to improve me and the club in general. That was the biggest pull."
Link: Tom James : Yeovil Town Statistics.
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