Striker returns to ME7!
Steve Evans has orchestrated a major coup with the capture of Championship striker Dominic Samuel.
The 26-year-old, who returns to MEMS Priestfield Stadium for a second spell, agreed terms on Monday afternoon and later passed his medical in central London.
Dominic has been in high demand since leaving Blackburn Rovers in August, but the Gills have fought off a number of clubs to land the manager's preferred striker choice, who will now wear the vacant accredited number nine shirt.
The striker began his career in the academy ranks at Reading and made his professional debut in December 2012 for the Royals prior to a particularly impressive spell with Coventry City, netting six times in 14 outings.
During his time on loan with the Gills in Kent he again was was very impressive, and became a big fans' favourite before he returned to Reading’s first-team the following season.
Dominic signed for Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 2017, putting pen to paper on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
Manager Steve Evans has been chasing the striker since early August and was delighted to finally land his man, despite several other options being available to the player.
The Gaffer said: “I’m absolutely delighted to confirm that I’ve received a call from the Chairman to confirm that Dominic Samuel has passed his medical in central London this afternoon.
“After lengthy negotiations with his representatives, a deal was concluded mid-afternoon, and the player has, in the last few minutes, put pen to paper.
“I first spoke to Dominic’s representatives on the completion of the Championship season to establish if the player was staying with Blackburn because he had played a significant part for them at the back end of the season. On learning from Tony Mowbray that was not the case, we had long discussions about the opportunity of Dominic coming back to Gillingham.
“There has been significant interest in the player and it has become clear in the last three weeks that the interest has come from the Championship's newly promoted clubs, and top end of League 1. I don’t want to focus on any other club, they give me no interest; I am delighted he has signed and he will join us immediately, of course training tomorrow. We look forward to him helping us achieve our aspirations for the season ahead and bringing some experience to a very youthful dressing room.
“I would like to acknowledge the support of our Chairman for getting this deal over the line for Dominic to become a Gills player. His signing still fits our strategy and desire for being young and hungry for the season ahead, he is a brilliant addition.
“I’m sure supporters all around our stadium, particularly those in the Rainham End, will be delighted with this new addition.”
The player himself added: “It was a no brainer to be fair; I did well during my loan spell here and I felt it was the right choice for me. The Gaffer made me feel welcome and after meeting him several times I really wanted to play for him.
“There is a great bunch of boys here; I want to be playing regular games and be somewhere where I felt comfortable and the Gaffer showed me a desire to be here.
“I made it clear I wanted to wear the number nine shirt if it was available, and have the responsibility that comes with that jersey.”
Subject to Football Association and EFL ratification.
The manager has not decided whether Samuel will be in the travelling party for Wednesday’s trip to Stoke City but will join the squad for training tomorrow morning.