Blackpool finally get their man as Crewe winger completes last-minute deadline day switch

Blackpool have managed to get their last-minute deadline day move for Crewe Alexandra winger Owen Dale over the line.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 11:24 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 11:33 am

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The Seasiders submitted the paperwork prior to last night’s 11pm cut-off point, but have been awaiting confirmation from the EFL.

That confirmation has now arrived and the move has finally been ratified.

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“I’m very happy and very excited to finally get it over the line,” Dale said of his move.

“It’s going to be a massive experience for me, but it’s one that I’m looking forward to. I just can’t wait to get going.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the lads and getting involved in the team.”

Contrary to reports, the 22-year-old arrives at Bloomfield Road on loan with a view to the deal being made permanent when the window reopens in January.

Blackpool finally have their man

It had been rumoured that Blackpool had agreed a £500,000 fee for Dale, whose contract expires at Gresty Road at the end of the season.

The Seasiders had an approach knocked back by the Railwaymen earlier in the window, but Neil Critchley’s side reignited their interest on deadline day and finally have their man.

Dale was left out of Crewe’s squad last night for the second game running despite Dave Artell naming a relatively strong side for their EFL Trophy group game against Shrewsbury Town.

Crewe also announced the signing of another winger - Tottenham’s J’Neil Bennett - minutes before the deadline, as a possible replacement for their academy product.

Dale made his debut for Crewe in August 2017 and has since made 109 appearances, scoring 15 times.

But 12 of those goals came last season in 48 appearances in what was the best season of his career to date.

The Warrington-born winger, who has also been linked with Blackburn Rovers this window, has previously enjoyed loan spells in non-league with Witton Albion and Altrincham.

Dale is out of contract at the end of the season and, with the winger keen to leave, it appears Crewe had their hand forced.

“Owen is an exciting, attacking player who we have been keen to bring to the club this summer,” head coach Neil Critchley said.

“He had a fantastic season for Crewe last season and is somebody that I coached during his formative years in the academy, having joined when he was six.

“He’s had a great upbringing at Crewe and has the appetite, drive and enthusiasm to come here and play for Blackpool.

“I’m excited to be working with him again, and I’m sure our supporters will appreciate his qualities.”

The winger’s arrival makes it three deadline day signings for the club and 13 in total for the summer transfer window.

The Seasiders solved their right-back conundrum by bringing in Dujon Sterling on loan from Chelsea, while they also managed to seal a sensational permanent return for Jordan Gabriel from Nottingham Forest.The club were also keen to bring in a central midfielder, but they had no such luck with both Oxford United and MK Dons knocking back their approaches for Cameron Brannagan and Matt O’Riley respectively.

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