Towering defender Aristote Nsiala – known as Toto – arrived at Victoria Park in June 2016 after turning down the offer of a new deal with League Two new boys Grimsby Town.
The 6ft 4ins centre-back was one of the stars of The Mariners 2015/16 campaign as they secured a return to the EFL for the first time in six years thanks to a Play-Off Final win at Wembley.
Pools boss Craig Hignett had seen Nsiala in action numerous times and was quick to make his move to make the powerful and aggressive performer the sixth new arrival of the summer.
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he moved to England in 2002 when he was just ten-years-old and he went on to Youth Team football for Everton.
A loan spell at Accrington Stanley turned permanent in the summer of 2012 and he celebrated by making his international debut for DR Congo after the Seychelles in a African Nations Cup qualifier.
There followed a spell abroad with Vietnamese outfit TDCS Dong Thap before he returned to England to join Southport in January 2014 and then Grimsby Town at the end of that season.