Frenchman brings some Grand news

Elliot Grandin in action against Derby

Elliot Grandin in action against Derby

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Ian Holloway is thinking of picking Elliot Grandin for the Boxing Day clash at Barnsley.

The Frenchman scored in a behind-closed-doors game with Everton earlier in the week, in his first outing for four months.

Grandin played the first three matches of the campaign before being sidelined with a foot problem.

He underwent surgery and his recovery took longer than expected.

But he has been edging closer to a return throughout the last fortnight, and started Monday’s friendly with Everton.

Grandin scored in a 2-2 draw – with Tom Ince also netting – and could now be on the bench at Oakwell.

Holloway said: “Elliot was struggling for a while when he first came back.

“He was getting pain and discomfort in his foot, and we had to reassure him that it was normal and to play through it.

“He has done that, and he has gradually been feeling better about himself and getting stronger.

“It is a boost having him back and available, because he was an important player for us in the Premier League, and he gives us another attacking option.

“He also plays a similar role to the one Jonjo Shelvey played for us, and with Jonjo going back to Liverpool, it will be a bonus to have Elliot available.”

Grandin’s return adds even more competition up front, an area of the pitch where Pool are overrun with options.

Several players are finding it difficult to get games at the moment.

Brett Ormerod (who, bizarrely, played right back in the Everton behind-closed-doors game) hasn’t featured since October, while Daniel Bogdanovic has started just once since his deadline day move.

Billy Clarke has also found opportunities hard to come by since returning from a successful loan spell at Sheffield United.

Unlike Matt Phillips – who has started most games since his Blades spell – Clarke has had to make do with just a couple of appearances off the bench, at Middlesbrough and late on in Saturday’s draw with Watford.

If Clarke doesn’t make a breakthrough in the next handful of fixtures, he could well return to Bramall Lane on loan, with Sheffield United boss Danny Wilson making no secret of his admiration for the striker.

With no reserve team this season, it would also be unfair to keep Clarke and not play him.

But no one, including Clarke, will be allowed to depart Bloomfield Road until after the FA Cup tie against Fleetwood Town on January 7, with Holloway wanting his full squad available for that particular fixture.