Stoke City loanee James Alabi reminds Scunthorpe United boss Brian Laws of one-time Iron striker John Gayle
MANAGER Brian Laws says the subject of his latest foray into the loan market reminds him of one of his best-ever signings for Scunthorpe United.
Laws likened Stoke City rookie James Alabi as being a ‘technically better’ version of John Gayle – a striker who the Iron boss singles out for special praise in his autobiography ‘Laws of the Jungle’.
Such comparisons are made purely because of 18-year-old Alabi’s size.
But United hope the striker, who is likely to play some part of this afternoon’s home game against Hartlepool United, will have an impact similar in stature to his frame.
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“He’s very physically formed for an 18-year-old, probably the strongest I’ve seen. His age disappears,” Laws told the Telegraph.
“He’s not afraid of what is ahead of him either.
“These sorts of deals can work in your favour or it might not happen.
“But he gives us another option and the cost makes it a win-win situation for us.
“I think Premier League clubs should cover the costs of young players when they go out on loan because the other club is helping them to develop.
“We’re giving our time and the opportunity to the players.
“The opportunity came along for us to take him so we have done. It’s a gift.”
Laws has played down suggestions that the capture of Alabi suggests Akpo Sodje is struggling for fitness ahead of the game with Pools, who are unbeaten in five matches.
Sodje had to be substituted at Yeovil Town last week after taking a heavy knock to his ankle, but he has trained this week.
Scunthorpe will be keen for him to lead the line this afternoon – given the striker has netted four goals in his three home games since joining the club last month.
“I’m hoping he should be okay, which is a positive sign.
“It could have been a far worse injury and he could have been out for weeks.
“The fact he’s been back out on the training ground suggests he’s in a good place, but we’re monitoring him.
“Akpo himself is very positive about it.”