Clint Hill thrilled as Fleetwood Town retain Wes Burns and sign Ched Evans permanently

Fleetwood Town's Wes Burns
Fleetwood Town's Wes Burns
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Clint Hill was delighted to keep hold of Wes Burns despite backing the Welshman to play at a higher level.

Hill had stressed that Town did not have any firm bids on the table for Burns prior to the closure of the summer transfer window for the top two divisions.

Despite being linked with Middlesbrough, Burns remained at Highbury and is expected to feature against AFC Wimbledon today.

When asked if Burns could play at a higher level, Hill said: “I think he can.

“The gaffer (Joey Barton) has been a very strong advocate of his too.

“He is talented, athletic, rapid and he is a threat but he is our threat.

“Hopefully he carries on through the season.”

While Burns stayed put, Hill was also pleased to secure Ched Evans’ signature on a permanent basis.

It means Town are set to avoid a repeat of January’s events when he almost left the club.

Evans nearly joined Bolton Wanderers on the final day of the transfer window but his recall by parent club Sheffield United was thwarted by a clause saying they had to give Town 24 hours’ notice.

Sunderland also were linked with a permanent move for Evans but now, after the forward signed a long-term deal at Highbury, the club is in a position where Evans’ future is in their hands.

Hill said: “He (Evans) was fantastic for us last season and we were very lucky to get him on a permanent basis.

“It gives us a platform to build on now we know he is here for a number of years rather than six to 12 months thinking ‘is he going to be called back?’

“It is out of your hands if they are on loan and have a call back clause or something else going on.

“You don’t know if a club will come in and bid for them which nearly happened.

“He is our player for the next three years.

“We know he will be a massive asset for us.”