Express & Star

Walsall poised to seal permanent deal for former loan defender

Walsall are poised to complete the permanent signing of former loan defender David Okagbue from Stoke City.


The centre-back, 20, will reportedly shun a new contract offer from the Potters in favour of a move to the Bescot Stadium, where he was a regular feature last season.

Republic of Ireland youth international Okagbue was a hit under former defender and boss Mat Sadler and the Saddlers are set to win the race for his signature on a full-time basis, despite Championship Stoke's attempts to extend his spell.

Okagbue made 35 appearances for Walsall, 30 of them coming in League Two including 29 starts. He played across the backline in his first lengthy loan away from Stoke after brief stints in non-league with Chester and then Oldham.

Having checked into Stoke from Dublin in 2020, Okagbue is yet to make his senior debut for the bet365 Stadium outfit but was offered fresh terms in May.

The defender is set to follow his former club-mate Tommy Simkin into Bescot. Walsall-born goalkeeper Simkin, 19, sealed a season-long loan deal to Walsall from Stoke on Tuesday as head coach Sadler stepped up recruitment work.