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Dean Keates: I had to grab bargain-buy Morgan Ferrier for Walsall

Walsall boss Dean Keates says he knew he had to sign Morgan Ferrier from the moment his release clause was made public.

Morgan Ferrier
Morgan Ferrier

The boss was in charge of Wrexham last season when he came up against the striker in the National League.

At the time, the forward was playing for Boreham Wood and Keates was impressed with the 23-year-old.

Earlier this summer, Ferrier looked set to join Tranmere. But after the move collapsed, it emerged the striker had a £35,000 release clause.

And that figure prompted Keates to pounce – with the forward then handed his debut against Plymouth on Saturday.

“I think the fans saw what Ferrier is about on Saturday,” the boss said.

“He is a great investment for the club and I think he will do well going forward.

“I’ve been on the opposite side to him as a manager. He’s somebody I’ve always thought about.

“But if I’m entirely honest it wasn’t until 10 days ago when it broke about his buyout clause that I believed that we would get anywhere near his valuation because I think the lad will go on higher.”

Ferrier is set to partner Andy Cook throughout the season – another striker who joined Walsall this summer after impressing in non-league.

But Keates said their journeys to the Banks’s Stadium have been very different.

“Morgan is bit different to Cooky – he’s had an upbringing,” the boss continued.

“He’s been through Arsenal’s academy, gone to Watford and Nottingham Forest but it’s not happened for him and he’s gone back into non-league.

“He’s rebuilt himself and gone again.

“He’s got a hunger and a desire.

“I could have gone and got somebody who has played a lot higher up but I’d question the hunger and desire as those players can just be looking for money and their next contract.

“These two are hungry and desperate to do well and we are giving them a platform.

“They showed that against Plymouth but it’s just the first game so we won’t get carried away.”

Meanwhile, Keates says he will continue to wear suits for home games after cutting a dapper figure in the dugout on Saturday.

The boss, in the past, has donned a tracksuit on the touchline – something he also did at Wrexham.

And he said that may return for long trips on the road.

“The suit is something I’ve been thinking about,” Keates said with a smile.

“I thought about it last season as well.

“For away games, I’ll probably go with a tracksuit. But we’ll see how it goes.”

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