In need of a genuine big body in their back-line, the Parramatta Eels have signed Blake Ferguson to a 3-year deal starting in 2019.
Following the departure of Semi Radradra, the Eels have struggled to find the same impact off the wing that the Fijian provided.
Ferguson, who has had his issues in the past, is now proving that he can let his footy do the talking.
He currently leads the NRL in total runs and total run metres and is third in post-contact metres.
With the Eels so desperately needing that Semi-like impact, they will hope Ferguson can provide that in 2019.
Ferguson has been credited for his approach to turn his life around.
He has given up alcohol this season and checked himself into a mental health clinic over the summer.
The result is a man in arguably career-best form and Brad Arthur emphasised the need to be a good person with Ferguson before signing him.
“I had a conversation with him about how important it is for us that we want the right people and good people at our club,” said.
“We’re going through a period where we want to make sure that everything we do on the field and off the field is professional and meets the standards and expectations required by our club.
“He’s fully aware of his responsibilities and accountability to his teammates and the club and he wants to be one of the players that can lead that.”
Ferguson’s versatility is a great asset for the Eels as Arthur contemplates whereabouts he will play in 2019.
“We’ll have to wait and see [where Ferguson plays in 2019], but he’s going to help us out of the backfield,” Arthur said.
“He can play centre, he can play wing. He’s a big body and he’s probably the form outside back in the comp at the moment.
“He’s a quality finisher and is good at getting sets started out of the backfield.”