Darrell Clarke urges patience with Walsall signing Jack Nolan
Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has called on fans to be patient with new signing Jack Nolan as the youngster finds his feet in League Two.
The 18-year-old winger became the club’s first signing of the month after joining permanently from Championship side Reading.
Although he is expected to get minutes this season, Clarke is wary not to overload him too soon.
“He’s someone I’ve monitored for a while,” he said.
“He was an academy player at Portsmouth and Reading paid decent money for him.
“He had a bad injury last year but I’ve been to watch his last few games and he’s sort of what I’ve been looking for.
“Not the finished article by any stretch of the imagination, so we have to be careful not to push him too early.
“But he has a great left foot, a great delivery.
“I’ll be honest, there’s not many about and I needed someone on that side of the pitch.
“Albeit he might not be quite ready to make a flying start, but he certainly improves the squad in that area of the pitch.
“He can go left or right.
“In the games I’ve watched him he’s switched between both.
“We’re not getting the finished article there but we’re getting somebody who I think can be a top quality player.”
Clarke made clear his desire to sign wingers at the beginning of the month and although he is still chasing a more experienced player in that position, he says it was Nolan’s desire and ambition that played a key part in him signing for the club.
“The biggest pull for me, when I met the lad and his parents, is that he wanted out of the 23’s football into a first team environment,” he added.
“That is what we’re after and what we want to keep building the club.
“I think the lad could have quite comfortably stayed at Reading but he wanted first team football.
“I think as a football club we’re always going to need loans, and I get that of where we are financially.
“But I think if you can pick one or two up like Jack, he becomes our player to work on and it’s even better.
“He’s a young lad, I’m sure our fans will get right behind him and will enjoy watching him play.
“Let’s not expect too much too soon, we’ll be wary of that.
“You can see the likes of Alfie Bates and Sam Perry and our younger players and the fans can see what I’m trying to do.
“Trying to build for the future and make sure it’s a good team with young players full of energy.”