Brian Laws says on-loan Stoke City striker James Alabi will 'cause problems' for League One defences while with Scunthorpe United
REMEMBER, remember the 5th of November? Brian Laws, the Scunthorpe United manager, does.
That night the Iron boss watched James Alabi fire Stoke City ahead against Manchester United in the Premier Under-21 League. He has followed his progress ever since.
Alabi, 18, is highly-rated by the Potters. Laws understands why.
But if he needed a reminder of the physical front man's abilities, he got the chance to get one at first-hand on Monday when Alabi played an hour of Stoke's friendly match with the Iron's reserves at the Britannia Stadium.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Laws says today's move to recruit the teenager on loan for a month was already in the offing before that workout.
He is looking forward to integrating Alabi's strength into his side's fight for survival in League One.
“We’d already spoken about James coming here prior to the game this week, but it was important we went to have another look at him and a chat with him as well," said Laws.
“Monday was a golden opportunity and we’re thankful to Tony Pulis and Stoke City for supporting us and allowing the player to come.
“We were impressed with him earlier in the season when we saw him play Manchester United’s reserves. He caused them all sorts of problems.
“He’s a kid that needs some league football. We’re delighted we can help Stoke do that and we hope he can help us.
“He’ll give us that thrust, an aerial ability whereas the majority of our strikers all want the ball to their feet.
“He can cope with it at his feet, but physically, if we put the ball over the top, he’ll cause people problems.
“At least it gives us some ammunition – a Plan B or C, whatever you want to call it.
“He’s certainly a welcome addition."
Alabi is on a one-month youth loan - which means he can still play for the Potters' reserve and Academy teams while he is at Glanford Park.
Laws is keen to stress though that there may be the opportunity to make his stay longer-term - if both clubs agree.
“He’s just here for a month but it’s with a view to it being longer. Initially we’ll see how it pans out and how we’ll he settles in with us," added the United manager.
“It’s costing us nothing to do it, so financially it’s a win-win situation for us. It allows us to get an extra body into the club but there’s no pressure for us to play him.
“The fact that he has been at Celtic as a youngster and has been in and around their first team shows how well thought of he is.
“We want to develop our own players, of course, but we have to look at the bigger picture.
“If he does well with us there could be the chance we could have him on a season-long loan, you never know.
“It’s about us forging relationships with Premier League clubs, particularly the younger players who can cope with league football."