Jack Ross ‘absolutely thrilled’ after Jamie McGrath joins Dundee United on loan

The Republic of Ireland international was wanted by the Tannadice boss at Hibernian last year.

By Press Association Published: 3 August 2022 - 1.34pm

Jack Ross got his man at last after Jamie McGrath joined Dundee United on loan from English Championship side Wigan Athletic until the end of the season.

The Tannadice boss was close to signing the 25-year-old Republic of Ireland international from St Mirren when he was in charge of Hibernian last August before a last-minute snag on deadline day prevented the transfer from happening.

McGrath ended up joining Wigan in January but has struggled for game time with the Latics and now becomes United’s seventh summer signing, after the Taysiders completed permanent deals for Steven Fletcher, Dylan Levitt, Craig Sibbald, Mark Birighitti, Aziz Behich and Glenn Middleton.

Ross told United’s official website: “Jamie was a player who had a huge impact on the Scottish Premiership with St Mirren.

“I’ve tried to sign him a couple of times already so my admiration for him as a player is obvious.

“He fits the profile in terms of what we are looking for. We wanted to bring another attack-minded player to the middle of the pitch.

“We also wanted to bring that increased athleticism and technique so he ticks so many boxes. I’m absolutely thrilled to bring him here.

“We want to get him playing, scoring and setting up goals for Dundee United and back into the international set-up.

“It’s a good statement for us and this is the calibre of player we’ve been trying to recruit.

“We’ve re-signed Ian Harkes and brought in Dylan, Mark, Aziz, Steven, Craig and Glenn.

“They all bring something different to the mix but the one thing they do have is that overall quality.

“There is new pace and energy in the squad and the age profile of the squad is quite balanced.

“We can also help Jamie. Having been a mainstay of the Ireland squad for a season and a half, he has drifted away from that because he wasn’t playing regular football.

“He will play amongst other international-class players who have the same ambitions as him.

“Dylan Levitt wants to stay in the Wales set-up and it’s a great incentive for the players to come here and use it as a springboard to play regular international football.”

McGrath had other offers from England, Scotland and abroad for his services but it was manager Ross’s tenacity which swung the decision towards Dundee United.

He told DUTV: “I was meant to sign for the gaffer maybe once or twice in the past so I guess it is third time lucky.

“It was basically the decisive factor. There was a few clubs interested but, speaking with the gaffer, I knew straight away that this is where I want to be and I am really looking forward to getting going.”

McGrath hopes the move will help him add to his six Republic of Ireland caps to date.

He said: “Playing in the Scottish league got me there in the first place. So hopefully playing as many minutes as I can and playing well, that I will get back in.

“It was a big factor in coming out on loan.

“Getting back in the national squad is definitely a goal of mine but obviously you don’t get that if you are not playing well or we are not getting results.”

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