Walsall boss Darrell Clarke facing a balancing act with Adan George

Walsall manager Darrell Clarke has revealed loanee Adan George was brought in for an experience of the first-team environment – but has hinted he may have some game time soon.

Darrell Clarke.
Darrell Clarke.

The 18-year-old joined the Saddlers on October 16 on a short-term loan from Birmingham until January 3.

He made his professional debut and Championship debut in two appearances for Blues before leaving for Walsall, but despite featuring as a substitute on a handful of occasions, he is yet to play for Clarke’s team.

Now, Clarke has said the young forward is instead benefitting from working with the first team squad with Caolan Lavery, Elijah Adebayo and fellow loanee Jake Scrimshaw ahead of him in the pecking order.

“Adan was always going to be a lad that we brought in to give him a bit of an experience of being around the first team environment,” Clarke said. “He’s a young lad. Scrimmy has been on-loan to Poole and Eastleigh, Lavery and Adebayo are my first team players.

“I’m sure Adan will get a few minutes along the way, he’s working hard and he’s a nice kid. But I’m also well aware of where we are as a football club.”

The battle between winning games and giving youngsters game time is a balancing act for Clarke as he added: “Young lads need development. They develop with games but I’m a football manager that wants to win games as well.

“We still haven’t got many players that have made over 100 appearances and for me you haven’t made it as a footballer until you’ve made those 100 appearances.

“We have got young lads and a bit of strength in depth, but we can’t afford to be carrying too many more injuries than what we’re carrying now to remain competitive.

“I try not to use injuries as an excuse. As a manager you mention it when you’ve won a game and not when you lose.”

Meanwhile, Clarke has expressed his delight with Scrimshaw for his application since joining on loan.

Alongside George, the 20-year-old was signed on deadline day until January due to the injury to Josh Gordon and has so far featured in seven games – starting once.

Although he is yet to score, fans have largely been impressed with his desire to work hard for the team and Clarke shares their view.

“I’ve been really pleased with him,” Clarke said. “He’s chomping at the bit to get more minutes, he’s working hard, which is pleasing. He’s a good lad, a real good attitude, and gives us something different when he does play.

“I’m looking forward to working away with him until he goes back.”

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News