Joey Barton welcomed one new signing to Fleetwood Town yesterday and hopes that returning midfielder Jack Sowerby will have the impact of another.
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Town brought in Stoke City centre-half Harry Souttar on loan for the rest of the season.
The 20-year-old fills Town’s final loan slot vacated by Tommy Spurr and provides much-needed central defensive cover following Cian Bolger’s move to Lincoln City.
Souttar’s only senior appearance this season was in the Carabao Cup defeat at Nottingham Forest, though he also played for Stoke Under-21 in three Checkatrade Trophy ties.
A Scotland U17 and U19 international, Souttar made 13 Scottish Premiership appearances for Ross County on loan in the second half of last season.
Sowerby has this week returned from a 28-game loan spell at League Two Carlisle, scoring five goals, and is in contention for Saturday’s home clash with Charlton. Athletic.
Forward Ashley Nadesan has started Town’s last four games since he returned from the Cumbrian club and Barton hopes Sowerby can have a similar impact.
Town’s head coach said of the 23-year-old: “Sowers is back and I’m delighted.
“The loan has worked really well for him. Hopefully he makes a similar kind of impact to Nadders because it gives us the impetus of a new signing.
“I spoke to Jack numerous times during his loan and he needed games at that stage of his development.
“It was similar with Ashley. He went out as a young player and the loan worked great for Carlisle, for him and for us because he has come back and worked hard in our first team. That was the thought process behind them going out.
“I didn’t see them being loaned out for the full season. They needed to develop and they needed games.
“League One probably was not where they would get them. The drop to League Two was a chance for them to grow in stature and in confidence, and it looks like the loans have been superb.
“Jack hopefully starts pushing as hard as Nadders did for a first-team slot.”
Of Souttar’s signing Barton added: “He will provide extra competition and we’re confident he can have a positive impact on the squad until the end of the season.”
The Scot is Town’s second signing of the transfer window following striker Harvey Saunders, who was immediately loaned back to non-league Darlington.