Fleetwood Town boss Graham Alexander believes he’s signed the perfect all-rounder in midfielder Steven Schumacher.
The Bury skipper became Alexander’s second summer signing at Highbury yesterday, Town paying an undisclosed fee to the Shakers for the 29-year-old.
Schumacher scored 10 goals from central midfield as Bury were relegated from League One and Alexander is hoping he brings some of that ability in the box to Fleetwood, along with his leadership and experience.
“He’s a good footballer, a very good player,” said Alexander. “He’s got that leadership quality, which you need all over the pitch.
“He scores goals and he’s got loads of experience, and we’re hoping he’s going to bring all of that to the table.
“The best compliment I can pay him is to say he’s a great all round player.
“He’s not got lightning pace or anything like that but he ticks all the boxes for what you want from a modern midfield player.”
Schumacher is likely to add an extra attacking threat to Town’s midfield, decimated by the departure of Jamie McGuire, Barry Nicholson, Anthony Barry and Paul Mc-Kenna.
“I wouldn’t say he’s bad at the ball-winning side of the game,” said Alexander. “But what he really brings is the ability to pick a pass.
“He’s great making late runs into the box as well and we’ve seen him pick up a fair few goals.
“That’s not just last season but over his whole career. He’s been very consistent in that respect.”
And former Everton trainee and England U19 Schumacher also brings to Fleetwood vital experience of promotion from League Two.
“He’s done it two years ago with Bury,” said Alexander. “He knows what it’s going to take. He’s a lad who really understands tactics and formations and that’s vital for a footballer at any level.
“Whenever we’ve seen him play he’s been really influential. “I think he’s going to be a massive asset.”
Schumacher, a Liverpudlian previously with Bradford and Crewe, is delighted to join Fleetwood, a club he sees as having real ambition, following a season at Bury dominated by financial crisis and turmoil off the pitch.
The club were left needing to find £1m to stave off the threat of administration last season, which ended with them relegated to League Two.
He said: “The main thing that attracted me was the ambition, where the club sees itself.
“It was a big year for Fleetwood Town last year, their first in the Football League, and when I came over and spoke to the manager and the chairman I was really impressed with what they wanted to do at the football club.
“It was a difficult season at Bury – tough on and off the pitch.
“There was a bit of disruption in the boardroom and that filtered down on to the pitch.
“I managed to get a few goals and my performances were all right. But we got relegated and now it’s time to move on.”
And Schumacher is hoping his arrival at Highbury can co-incide with another promotion run.
He said: “I hope I can be part of a promotion campaign.
“If we can get into the playoffs or get a promotion, that would be fantastic.
“But the most important thing is just to improve on last year.
“Hopefully I can come in and be an influence on the pitch, be a leader out there and if I can contribute goals, then great.
“I’ve got more than 300 games under my belt and I’m looking forward to bringing that experience to Fleetwood.”
Schumacher will spend the first few weeks of the summer recovering from a hernia operation but can’t wait to meet his new team-mates
He said: “I’ve recently had surgery, so I’m working to keep up my rehab over the summer, and make sure I’m nice and fit and come back for pre-season fresh.
“I’m looking forward to coming in and meeting the lads.
“Meeting a new team is always exciting and I can’t wait.
“I know a few of the lads from the past. I’ve played against a few of them.
“I’ve heard it’s a good dressing room here, so I’m looking forward to getting in there.”
Schumacher will join up with fellow new boy Matty Blair, the ex-York City winger, when Town return from their summer break on June 21.