Grimsby Town manager Ian Holloway is thrilled at the signing of former Rangers defender Bilel Mohsni and has dubbed the centre-back his Virgil van Dijk.

The veteran defender had been a free agent since last July after being released by Greek side Panachaiki and linked up with Grimsby on trial before the season was suspended.  


Now the Mariners have gone on to sign him on an initial one-year deal following the team's return to training.

Holloway is thrilled with the capture of Mohsni and feels he can be Grimsby's answer to Virgil van Dijk; the Grimsby boss also believes that the former Rangers man is capable of playing in a variety of different positions. 

"He is my leader, he's my Virgil van Dijk", Holloway told his club's official site.

"He can play anywhere, to be honest with you."

The manager took time to reveal that the player had never really been out of action in spite of not being under contract, which he believes will be useful.

Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 76)

"In France, they have a sort of hall of fame, where they let anybody without a contracted train and play with others and they play against clubs.

"He kept playing, he played nearly 30 games in that environment and he's a wonderful man, I've known him for a very very long time, he's a little bit firey I must admit.

"But I've forgiven him and I want him here to help us with our young lads.

"I'm absolutely delighted he's decided to join me, he had other choices but because we were so close last year, he's decided he wanted to come back to me".

The defender will be looking to throw himself into Grimsby's League Two campaign, which is due to begin next month.