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Darrell Clarke keen to add wingers to Walsall squad

By Liam Keen | Walsall FC | Published:

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has revealed he is targeting two wingers and potentially a new striker in the current transfer window.

Darrell Clarke

Forward Wes McDonald agreed a new deal with the club this week after months of negotiation.

And despite Clarke’s side stringing together positive results over Christmas and New Year, he has identified two wide men as the ‘key’ area to improve.

“I’d be very disappointed (if we didn’t make any signings),” he said.

“I’m after wide players.

“We have Wes (McDonald) who we signed, I’m really happy with that.

“But I need a couple of left-footed or right-footed wide players.

“That’s what I need to strengthen, they’re the key areas for me where we’re short on.

“If the right centre forward became available then I might be tempted as well.

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“But the key focus for me is on the wide areas.

“You very rarely get your first, second or third targets if I’m honest with you.

“As a lower league manager, I’m sure other managers up and down the country will be saying exactly the same thing.

“There’s a lot of working going off in the background to make sure that the players that we bring in this window are the right fit.

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“You miss out on quite a few for different reasons.

“To get players in is pretty easy, no disrespect.

“But it has to be the right players all the time.

“You have to get 60 or 65 per cent of your recruitment right if you want to be successful.

“We haven’t got a big recruitment team at the football club, it’s me and my coaching staff that do that.

“We’ve had plenty of eyes and ears out there, and speaking to other managers.

“Our scouts, one or two that go out to get the right mould of player that I want to bring in.”

Several academy talents have been given chances in the Walsall first team this season, with midfielder Sam Perry the latest.

The 18-year-old put in an impressive 90-minute display against Portsmouth in the EFL Trophy and Clarke is keen that his recruitment doesn’t block his academy’s development.

“I have to be careful that I don’t get in the way of pathways of what we’re trying to do here as a football club,” he added.

“You see Sam Perry the other night had a fantastic debut and we want to make sure there’s a good pathway so the players can develop as well.

“It was really pleasing, we want to work as a football club on bringing players through.

“I was really pleased with Sam the other night.”

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Sports Reporter

Sports journalist at the Express & Star, primarily covering Walsall FC and grassroots sport across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319456.

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