Blackpool move early on deadline day to solve right-back conundrum by bringing in Chelsea man
Blackpool have moved early on transfer deadline day to solve their right-back conundrum.
The Seasiders have brought in highly-rated defender Dujon Sterling on a season-long loan from Chelsea.
The 21-year-old has signed a new two-year deal at Stamford Bridge prior to heading out to Bloomfield Road.
“I knew there was interest a couple of weeks ago and I am happy to be here now,” Sterling said of his move.
“I feel in the best shape of my life and this is the test that I need.
“The gaffer has put his trust in me and hopefully I can repay that trust.”
The Seasiders have been without a specialist right-back for their opening five games of the Championship campaign.
Summer recruit Callum Connolly, who has played the majority of his football to date either at centre-back or as a defensive midfielder, has been the man filling in there.
The 23-year-old faces a ban after being shown a straight red card in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Millwall, leaving Neil Critchley without a right-back for their next league game against Fulham.
The fixture takes place after the international break on Saturday, September 11.
But Blackpool have now added Sterling to their books and they could even add a second right-back in the form of Jordan Gabriel later today.
The Seasiders had previously been frustrated in their attempts to acquire the 22-year-old's services from Nottingham Forest, but The Sun is reporting there's been a late breakthrough.
It’s been reported that Pool’s head coach played a “key role” in convincing Sterling to turn down several other offers and relocate to Bloomfield Road.
Sterling, whose current contract is due to expire in a year’s time, has previously spent time on loan with Coventry City and Wigan Athletic.
The wing-back made 40 appearances during the 2018/19 campaign for Coventry in League One. He then headed out to Wigan the following season, but his time at the DW Stadium was cut short by a hamstring injury.
During the first lockdown, Sterling suffered a serious, potentially career-threatening illness before later going on to contract coronavirus.
There was loan interest in January, but Chelsea took the decision to keep him at the club and build himself back up with the development squad.
Sterling was part of Thomas Tuchel’s first-team squad in pre-season and played the majority of his pre-season games as a right-sided centre-back, rather than in his preferred wing-back role.
The Islington-born defender has already represented England from Under-16 to Under-20 level.
“Dujon has developed through a very successful Chelsea academy and won numerous cups and titles,” Pool boss Neil Critchley said.
He’s an attack-minded full-back who is certainly ready for this move, having had previous senior loan experience with Coventry and Wigan. I know our supporters will enjoy watching him play.
“He’s performed well for the Chelsea first-team squad in pre-season and I’d like to thank Chelsea for entrusting us with his continued development.”
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