LUDOVIC Sylvestre has been tipped to be a major Seasiders star next season.
Ian Holloway believes that no matter which division Pool are playing in, Sylvestre is the man he may well be building his team around.
That may seem an odd statement, given the French midfielder has struggled to break into the side and was omitted from the 18 which faced Chelsea on Monday. In fact, Sylvestre has started only six games all season.
But when he has played, the 27-year-old signed from Czech club Mlada Boleslav last summer has certainly caught the eye.
And Holloway thinks Sylvestre is destined to be a huge player for the club next season.
The manager said: “Ludo is fantastic on the ball but he is a little bit off the pace at the minute, as you can see in the second half of the games I’ve played him in.
“Because he has no communication yet – he can’t speak English brilliantly – he can’t do what, say, Keith Southern does.
“I need him to develop in that area but I think he will.
“I think next season, when he has had a full pre-season under his belt, he could be awesome and a big player for us.
“I love his football, the way he is on the ball. He plays the French way, just in front of the back four.
He hasn’t got the defensive skills of a Claude Makelele. However, we need to give him the ball more because he is brilliant on it. But he doesn’t call for it, so he needs to improve that.
“We keep giving the ball to Charlie Adam and David Vaughan, but we need to give it to Ludo because he has all these things . He can do unbelievable stuff with it.
“The lads love him because he is so wonderful with the ball.”
Holloway isn’t the only one to have noticed Sylvestre’s potential. Former Pool loan star Barry Bannan is another fan.
Holloway continued: “After we played at Aston Villa, where Ludo started and absolutely ran the show, Barry Bannan said to me, ‘How good is that Sylvestre?’
“Ludo is frustrated because he wants to play every week and that’s understandable.
“We have a lot of options in that area, though, but Ludo has a really big part to play for us.”
Holloway celebrates his 48th birthday tomorrow and has gone to Scotland for a few days with his wife to get away from the stresses of Premier League management.