Justin Edinburgh described Andrew Crofts’ return to Gillingham as "massive".
The Brighton midfielder, who had a season playing in the Premier League for Norwich, is back at the Gills on loan until the end of the season.
For Edinburgh, whose side still have a chance to win automatic promotion, it was a real sign of intent and he praised chairman Paul Scally for wrapping up the deal.
“Credit goes to the chairman,” said Gillingham boss Edinburgh, who handed Crofts a start in the 1-1 draw at Southend.
“He worked tirelessly on concluding the deal and it is a massive signing of intent."
Chatham-born Crofts started his career with the Gills and went onto play nearly 200 games for the club, before leaving in 2009. He needs game-time to make the Wales Euro 2016 squad and Gillingham were all too keen to offer him that opportunity.
Edinburgh said “He needed to play football. He spoke with (Wales manager) Chris Coleman, about what level it needed to be, and he assured him that this was adequate.
"Once he knew that, he couldn’t wait to get back.
“It is a real marquee signing for us at a crucial time of the season.”