LEE JOHNSON has warned Hibernian will have to be patient with new signing Jair Tavares.

The Benfica winger has joined on a four-year deal to end Johnson’s pursuit of the player going back three seasons.

The 21-year-old, the cousin of Lille and Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches, had been turning out for Benfica’s B side in the second-tier Liga Portugal 2 after coming through the ranks in Lisbon.

But, despite having high hopes for the Portugal youth internationalist, Johnson expects Tavares to need time to adjust to life in Scotland.

He said: “He’s a player I’ve tracked for over two and a half years now. From my Bristol City days, we were looking to potentially bring him in.

“Through a clause in his contract, really, we’ve managed to swoop in.

“He’s a fantastic technical player, he’s got good speed and can go past people.

“But obviously the adaptation from the second division in Portugal to the Scottish Premiership is going to be tough.

“It’s a different intensity, it’s a different physicality.

“We believe in him but we need to see exactly how quickly he can hit the ground running and start producing good numbers - goals, assists, major contributions in games.”

Johnson has already recruited David Marshall, Lewis Miller, Nohan Kenneh, Kyle McClelland and Momodou Bojang and is hopeful of adding Aiden McGeady to the squad he inherited.

But the former Oldham, Bristol City and Sunderland manager expects it could take him at least a year to put his stamp on a team that has gone through the upheaval of the sacking of both Jack Ross and Shaun Maloney in the last six months.

He added: “When you inherit a squad with two or three different managers’ opinions in that, it can be difficult.

“And you will need three or four windows, at least, to sort of iron that one out.”