DEAN Saunders put the finishing touches to Wrexham’s midfield line-up by signing trialist Hedi Taboubi – and then compared the Frenchman to former Premier League star Tugay.
Saunders worked with the recently-retired Turkish schemer when he was on the coaching staff of Blackburn Rovers. And he is hoping 26-year-old Taboubi, whose impressive pre-season performances have earned him a one-year deal, can have just as big an impact at the Racecourse.
“As anyone can see he’s a class player and he reminds me a little bit of Tugay,” said Saunders, whose side won 3-0 at the UniBond League First Division North’s Colwyn Bay last Wednesday night with goals from Sam Williamson, Mark Jones and Simon Brown.
“He’s a player we’re lucky to have as I think he could be playing a lot higher up.
“With Nathan Fairhurst, Andy Jones, Andy Fleming and now Hedi in midfield, I’m happy with that department.”
Taboubi turned down the chance to take on some of the biggest clubs in French football after winning promotion with AC Arles to Ligue Two.
“My contract was up this summer but by gaining promotion it triggered a clause which meant I had the option of a further season,” said Taboubi.
“A step up to Ligue Two means games against the likes of Nantes, Metz, Caen and Strasbourg, but I really wanted to come and play in the English leagues. I have friends in Liverpool, so I decided to give it a go. The set up at Wrexham is fantastic and I have enjoyed being here.”
Mike Williams and Ashley Westwood have put pen to paper on new one-year contracts, but Saunders is still keen to add another centre-back after allowing Darran Kempson to leave the club. Midfielder Tom Kearney and striker Michael Proctor have also agreed to terminate their contracts.
The Dragons, who hosted Preston North End on Tuesday night in a friendly which took place after the Chronicle went to press, continue their pre-season schedule at Carlton Town of the UniBond First Division South tonight (7.45) before entertaining a Manchester City XI on Saturday (3pm). Goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis, who is set to sign on a season-long loan from Liverpool, could feature.
The glamour clash is followed by a trip to Blue Square North neighbours Vauxhall Motors on Tuesday (7.30pm).
Bangor City face Finland’s FC Honka at the Racecourse tonight in a Europa League second qualifying round second-leg clash (8.05pm). Bangor trail 2-0.