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Hull City completed the signing of Burton Albion midfielder Jackson Irvine for an undisclosed fee, believed to be £2.5million. The Australian international has put pen to paper on a three-year deal at the KCOM Stadium.
He doesn’t come with no health and safety warnings though – his two silly fouls seeing him get red-carded earlier this month at Hull while playing for Burton, facing a suspension. He also managed to pick up 10 yellow cards last season in the Championship and will have to curtail this in order to make a full impact.
After an ultimately unsuccessful spell at Celtic between 2013 and 2015, Irvine began climbing the football ladder with good spells at both Kilmarnock and Ross County in Scotland before his move to England. Another modest ascension would be appropriate about now.
Burton paid only around £300,000 for Irvine when he signed for the Midlands club last summer but has seen his stock rise considerably since then with some excellent displays in the middle of the park for the Brewers.
The reported £2.5million fee Burton have received is massive for them. However, at Derby County’s level, this would have been small potatoes for a player who would have easily challenged Tom Huddlestone and Bradley Johnson for a position in the middle of the park.
Not only would he have meant another option in the engine room, but it has been proven time and time again that having such an option would have meant the aforementioned players needing to put in an extra few percent to keep themselves in the team, something that would have hugely benefitted the club overall.
Irvine is a player on the up and that is always a good thing to take into consideration when thinking about signings and there is little doubt that he is representing good value at this price. At 24 years of age and looking at where he has come from, Irvine can only get better. So the player we see now will be a better one again come play-off time – something Derby may end up thinking more and more about.
Derby’s transfer success (or otherwise) this season is a subject of debate around the town given that Mel Morris gave Gary Rowett the full autonomy to build his own squad. No sensible fan would have a go at him for missing out on a player worth £15million, but at this sort of price, a chance should have been taken on the Australian.