Karl Henry joins

This is a strange one really – he’s divided opinion amongst a lot of fans already – but I’ve always liked him.

You sometimes need those players in there who have a character and personality – and a presence on the pitch. And he brings that. And not only does he bring that, he also brings that something about him where an opposing player may wake up that morning and really feel like he doesn’t fancy playing against him or us on the day.

You need that psychological intimidation and threat, but I think he’s a better player than given credit for too. He won’t rip up any trees, but he’ll be a cog in the wheel and we’ve really lacked those in the last couple of years.

I like players who know their strengths and weaknesses, know their role and know how to play their role well. It’s a trait that’s often under appreciated and misunderstood, but can be a vital component to a team that functions well.

He’ll give you that structure at the base – and that gives a license to others to do a different job – perhaps in this case he’ll allow our full backs to roam more freely and provide us with attacking options. Or perhaps with him in the side, we can afford to accommodate Adel Taarabt or even Alejandro Faurlin further up the pitch, providing they’re both still here.

The thing is, there are a lot of possibilities in terms of getting better balance and in many ways, Henry is a younger version of Shaun Derry and who in theory should have a bit more in the tank over Derry in terms of his mobility in that area of the pitch.

He provides a sense of separation in terms of formation and roles. A man who you know what to expect and where you expect him to be on the pitch and that helps others know what they’re supposed to be doing too.

Of course, it’ll go either way for him. I suspect if results and particularly performances don’t go to plan – people are going to pick on him and single him out. But if it doesn’t, we may look back on this and appreciate the signing in the same way we did with Derry.

He’s certainly a player who is willing to take responsibility and you’d hope if he can set that kind of example, others will follow suit.

Good luck and welcome aboard.