Published: 06:00, 03 September 2019
Olly Lee made an immediate impact on the pitch at the weekend and has settled right in off it, too.
Gillingham have signed the midfielder on a loan deal until January 27 after Scottish Premier League side Hearts felt he wasn’t for them.
It’s a second stint with the Gills for the 28-year-old, who played seven games here back in 2012.
“He comes in with a smile, with a voice and with experience,” said Gills boss Steve Evans.
“We have young Alfie (Jones) and Tommy (O’Connor, both on loan from Southampton). They are young and quiet, it’s like they have to earn their stripes in a new dressing room, but Olly bounced in and was cracking jokes, he is a big talent.
“He was moaning to me when I took him off (on Saturday). He’s thinking he’s on a hat-trick, but we need to look after him a bit. I said, when we signed him, he was a top player.”
Lee scored twice in the match, one in each half. It was his free-kick that led to the opening goal.
It was his first competitive appearance since playing for Hearts at Celtic in the SPL in May. He played in a practice game for the Gills in midweek before completing the loan deal.
“He did particularly well,” said the Gills boss. “He was top class at Luton. A lot of English-based supporters don’t realise the talent in the SPL, it’s a tough league.
“He played a massive part at Hearts but when the manager makes some signings and you don’t feel a part of it, you want to get away.
“We have experienced it with Listy (Elliott List), if people aren’t going to be starting games they move on.”
Former Manchester United youngster Matty Willock made his debut for the Gills at the weekend after a hamstring injury led to him missing the opening few weeks.
“He wasn’t at his best,” Evans admitted.
“He looked a bit rusty, and he was, but had we been playing a team more established in League 1, he probably wouldn’t have started, but we got him on the pitch.
"The plan was 45 minutes but he had been out a while.”
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More by this authorLuke Cawdell