'A very exciting signing for League One' - The Blackpool verdict on Portsmouth target previously linked with Sunderland, Ipswich and Wycombe
Pompey are closing in on a loan move for Blackpool winger Owen Dale.
The News understands that Danny Cowley has identified the 23-year-old as an ideal replacement for Marcus Harness, who departed Fratton Park earlier in the window – and a deal could be completed before the visit of Lincoln on Saturday.
In preparation of the 23-year-old’s anticipated arrival, we spoke to Blackpool Gazette reporter Matt Scrafton for the lowdown on the right-winger.
Here’s what he said...
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‘Dale was brought in last summer on loan, when Neil Critchley was manager, from Crewe, where Critchley had coached before he went to Liverpool.
‘He knew him from his time at Crewe’s academy and thought a lot of him.
‘He arrived as a low-risk move to see how he’d do and his debut was absolutely brilliant. Dale scored away at Reading when they were 2-0 down and was instrumental as Blackpool went on to win 3-2.
‘He looked really good, took his goal well, but after that he was in and out of the team and didn’t really get a fair crack at it.
‘After seeing him in League One and at Blackpool I'd say he is a top young League One player with a lot of potential and ability.
‘I think he would be a very good signing for League One because he’s been very clearly out of favour with Michael Appleton since his arrival.
‘From the start it was pretty obvious that he wasn’t fancied and wasn’t playing in any of the pre-season games with the first team.
‘It was pretty obvious that he was going out on loan but I think he’s a very exciting signing for League One.
‘He’s got a bit of pace about him but I wouldn’t describe him as the paciest of wingers.
‘Instead, I think his main attributes are his abilities on the ball.
‘He’s a neat and tidy player, likes to keep the ball close to him and has that natural ability, but it’s just the case of getting it out of him on a regular basis.
‘His move was made permanent at Blackpool in January, which was quite a surprise at the time.
‘Obviously, Critchley saw a lot in him and saw a lot in his potential, but he needs to play regular football.
‘He wouldn’t be doing that at Blackpool this season so it’s an advantage to get out and play.
‘What will happen at the end of the season will be interesting because right now I don’t see him as a Championship player, but that could change if he plays 30-odd games at Pompey.
‘If he’s playing regularly enough then there’s no reason why he shouldn’t do well.
‘Danny Cowley wanted him last summer so he’s someone he’s targeted for a while and sees something in him.’