Signing No9 of the summer will step straight on the bus for Humberside this afternoon as Canary boss Peter Grant officially unveiled Ian Murray to the Press at Colney this lunchtime.
The 26-year-old Scottish international has agreed a one-year deal with the Norfolk club and will add his left-sided versatility to the pack as Grant waits, for example, on the fitness of Simon Lappin ahead of tomorrow's Tigers clash.
Another piece in the jigsaw slotted into place? “Very much so,” said Grant.
“As I've said from the start of the season, down that left-hand side we were still a little bit unbalanced and that's been proved a couple of times when we've had injuries to Simon or Adam (Drury) – and obviously Hucks (Darren Huckerby) as well – and the whole left-side has been decimated because of it,” said Grant, who has been obliged to throw everyone from the departed Andy Hughes to Luke Chadwick out there on the left as he was left with no option but to make do and mend.
Now he someone who can cover in a host of positions – including the left-sided centre-half role. Not just cover, but compete for…
“Ian's one whose name has long been in the forefront of our minds because one of his biggest strengths is that he can play in different positions,” said Grant, well aware of the jack of all trades, master of none argument that invariably follows.
“That's probably his biggest weakness. Because of the fact that he can play in most positions managers move him about a little bit more often than not.
“But I think he can play comfortably at left-back, left-side midfield, the inside one – at centre-back,” added Grant.
“And when he plays in the middle of the pitch, he likes to get forward and score goals – so I think he brings something different to us and, at this level, we have to have players with adaptability. And he definitely gives us that.
“That was the attraction for me – knowing that in the forward areas, he's comfortable; in the defensive areas, he's comfortable. And puts a little bit of pressure on the boys that are there as well.”
Ask the player himself which position he would like to nail down.
“I like centre-half and midfield – that's where I like to play,” said a softly-spoken Murray, widely seen as one of the more thoughtful footballers of his Edinburgh generation.
“But as the manager says, I've played all over the place throughout my career. So as long as I get a game, I'm fairly happy wherever I play.”
The 'Pack you bags…' call came on Wednesday and it appears that as Smith went on his own summer spending spree at Ibrox, so Murray was happy to look for pastures new.
“I think Norwich is a club in the Championship that's very much on the up and I just felt the time was right for me to move on,” said Murray.
“But it has all happened quite quickly – I got the phone call for definite on Wednesday, came down yesterday and it's all sorted – so it was quite quick.
“And I didn't find it too hard, to be honest with you because I want to play. It is great being at a great club like Rangers – they're a big club. But everybody wants to play.”
That chance to play didn't come at the start of last season when a viral condition led to the onset of reactive arthritis, a condition that causes swelling and stiffness in the joints. In fact, it would be the New Year before Murray was able to resume his stalled Rangers career.
“It was frustarting because it was an illness and not an injury – that didn't help. And then with the change of manager Paul le Guen came in, he left , Walter Smith came in – so the club was in a wee bit of turmoil at the time and being injured when these new guys were coming in didn't help. But I'm still thankful for the time I had there.”
It also ended a long chase by Grant who had first taken note of Murray's promise as a 23-year-old captaining a golden crop of talent at Easter Road. The final game of the 2004-2005 season – a 1-0 home defeat by Rangers, ironically – would see a Hibs team that boasted the newly-capped Murray, but also the likes of Gary O'Connor, Scott Brown, Gary Caldwell and a certain Derek Riordan.
The latter three have all made the switch to Celtic – for ?4.4 million in Brown's case – while O'Connor arrived at Birmingham City this summer for ?2.6 million via Lokomotiv Moscow. So there was some talent there.
“I remember him being in my mind when I'd seen him at Hibs as a young man; how he captained the side ever so well; showed great maturity – that got him his international call-ups and got the opportunity to move to Rangers,” said Grant.
The fact that the Scottish Premier League insist on clubs fielding three Under-21s on the bench come match-days merely played into City's hands when it came to snapping up fringe, senior players – that and the player's own desire to join Grant's growing Tartan Army in Norfolk.
“Does it help us? For sure – that's one of the things that we've been talking to Rangers about,” said Grant, his Under-21 lever in hand.
“Rangers obviously wanted a fee and that for him. But the pleasing thing for me was that once we'd got in contact with Rangers and they'd let Ian know, that he was very, very keen to come.
“And I always feel that when you're playing for a Celtic or a Rangers, it's very, very difficult to leave those clubs – you're involved in Europe; you've got the chance to play in front of 50,000 or 60,000 people week in, week out. So it's a big, big pull to stay there.
“But he was very keen to get here and I think that he proved that yesterday – the fact that he flew down to allow us to talk to him and he's now sat here today, signed, sealed and delivered.”