Coventry City have finally spent a little bit of money in the transfer market with the signing of young Preston midfielder Adam Barton.
A 21 year old, 6ft 2in central midfielder who has shown a lot of promise making over 50 appearances for Preston as well as representing Northern Ireland at full international level and more recently the Republic of Ireland at under-21 level.
Rumoured to have cost in the region of £50,000-£100,000 and with speculation less than a year ago over a big money move to Liverpool and it seems like we not only have a potentially great player but a real bargain as well.
This though sounds too good to be true, there has to be a catch right and of course there is and it could potentially be a big one. This catch is Barton’s injury record, he is only young but in his short career so far he has already been extremely unlucky with injuries.
He was first taken on as a youngster by his hometown club Blackburn but before he could have any kind of impact there he was told he was free to leave because of a serious back problem. He was however given a second chance by Preston and was this time able to make an impact, which resulted in him being widely recognised as a talented young player with a lot of promise for the future.
This was however until February when in a match against Walsall he suffered what was then thought to be a career threatening injury. It was later confirmed that he had fractured his leg as well as suffering a dislocated ankle after getting his studs stuck in the ground after what could only be described as an innocuous challenge.
His resulting operation though was described as a complete success and after four months out he returned to training for pre season with Preston. He was then however made available to other clubs which led to Coventry’s interest in him and Thorn moved quickly to snap the youngster up.
Looking at the facts and this transfer is a strange one. Barton seems to be rated very highly in the footballing world so first of all it seems strange that Preston would allow him to leave for such a small amount. Obviously the injuries, especially the fractured leg have played a huge part in that but if he is back in full training and improving his fitness again then I can’t see why they would allow him to leave at all.
This does concern me and makes me wonder if they know something about his injury problems that we don’t and whether he is a bigger risk than Thorn knows. I hope this isn’t the case but with Coventry’s luck it most likely will be.
Another scenario is that the deal to bring him to Coventry could include a huge sell on fee which SISU surprisingly seem to like including in deals. New signing Fleck and ex goalkeeper Kieran Westwood are just two examples of this.
The final scenario and the one I am hoping it is, is that the owners and coaching staff at Preston are being naive and don’t realise his true potential. Can we as Coventry fans hope that there are other owners out there that are as stupid as ours when it comes to anything to do with football? Maybe I am hoping too much with this but this is definitely a signing to get at least somewhat excited about.
He is in my opinion already a better player than Deegan who is the latest player to leave the club. I never really rated Deegan since his arrival from Bohemians and with his own injury problems in his time at Coventry allowing him to move on in order to take a gamble on Barton seems to be a great bit of business for the club.
Personally I won’t be too disappointed even if it does go horribly wrong with Barton as I think calculated risks have to be taken in football in order to be successful. Whilst Barton is clearly a gamble, he has every chance to become a star and let’s hope he does it at Coventry City.