Express & Star

Jacob Maddox tipped to make Walsall impact

Boss Michael Flynn believes new Walsall recruit Jacob Maddox will be a force to be reckoned with once fully fit.


Former Chelsea youngster Maddox – snapped up as a free agent following his release from Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes – made an impressive debut off the bench against Colchester United on Tuesday night.

Flynn said on the 23-year-old midfielder: “He’s fitted in really well. He’s very good technically.

“We need to work on his match fitness. His pre-season was a little bit disrupted, but you can see his quality on the ball.

“When you get him fully fit, we’ve got a player on our hands.

“We couldn’t start him as he hasn’t had long enough. He hadn’t played a game since the end of last season, but he’s got flashes of quality. You don’t play for Chelsea and England youth teams if you’re not a good player. He’s a very good player. We’ve just got to get him match fit.”

Maddox, who spent last season on loan at Burton Albion in League One, has signed for Walsall on a one-year deal.

Asked if he brings something the Saddlers have lacked with his ability to drive forward with the ball from midfield, Flynn added: We shouldn’t have lacked it. I don’t think we’ve lacked it in some games, if I’m honest.

“What he changed was that he was able to receive the ball from a throw-in and not give it away, or get too close to the thrower.

“What that did then was enable us to open the play, switch the play – move the opposition around and take them out of their comfort zone.

“You’ve got to be brave on the ball and have courage. That’s what Jacob will do.”