Adelaide United Director of Football, Bruce Djite, believes the signing of Riley McGree for an undisclosed fee is a statement of intent from the Club’s ownership group.
The attacking midfielder arrives on a three-year contract from Club Brugge and will wear the number eight jersey, having previously played 23 matches and scored two goals for the Reds between 2016 and 2017.
Djite played a major part in formalising the deal and praised the Club’s ownership consortium, led by Chairman Piet van der Pol, for securing McGree’s services.
He added that their significant investment is a testament to the faith they have in the Club.
“I’m extremely excited and proud we’re able to bring a player of Riley’s talents back to the Club,” Djite told the media at McGree’s official unveiling.
“The Chairman has given me the backing to actually buy a player – I don’t think the Club has ever purchased a player before.
“So the fact we had the capability to pay a transfer fee, not just shows the faith we’ve in Riley and what a great investment he is, but also the faith the ownership group has in the Club.”
– First signing done.
– First time @AdelaideUnited has ever paid a transfer fee.
– Young player from Gawler, Adelaide with the world at his feet.
Welcome home @McgreeRiley
More signings to come…
— Bruce Djité (@BDjite) July 5, 2019
Djite revealed during internal discussions they had mulled whether to take the 20-year-old on loan or make the move permanent, before ultimately choosing the latter option.
“That was the basis of the discussion,” Djite revealed when deciding how to capture his signature.
“Do we get him on loan and help Club Brugge develop a diamond or do we acquire the asset, and that’s what we’ve done.
“We’ve forked out some euros to acquire him and it’s money well spent and I’m sure after one, or two, or the three years that he spends with us everyone is going to concur.”
Djite intimated more signings will arrive in due course and urged fans to remain patient.
“I think it (McGree’s signing) is a statement, I know people are getting a bit antsy about our movement in the market in terms of acquiring players,” he said.
“But there’s probably not a better Australian young talent that we could’ve signed and that’s what we’ve looked for and that’s what we’ve done.”
Adelaide United face Melbourne Knights in the Round of 32 of the FFA Cup 2019 on Wednesday, 7 August at Knights Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports.