In the latest of his weekly columns, Scott Brotherton takes a look at Walsall's Transfer Deadline Day signing Michael Ngoo.
In the latest of his weekly columns, Scott Brotherton takes a look at Walsall's Transfer Deadline Day signing Michael Ngoo;

Who? That was the question many Walsall fans were asking when they saw Dean Smith had swooped for the Liverpool striker on deadline day. The manager sprung that one on everyone, just when it seemed as if Febian Brandy would be the only January addition.

Fans and pundits alike have been harping on about the need for another striker and, albeit with hours to spare, Deano has delivered. You may not have heard of him but we didn't know Milan Lalkovic and Febian Brandy when they were at Chelsea and Manchester United, and they have been a revelation.

The first thing you notice about Ngoo is that he is an absolute giant. 6ft 6in is tall by anyone’s reckoning and he will dwarf the rest of the Saddlers team. He was even branded the new Peter Crouch as a 16-year-old at Southend United, before the Reds swooped in to take him to Anfield.

With height, strength and power Ngoo seems to fit in with the manager’s desired type of centre forward. Craig Westcarr and Romaine Sawyers fit into the same mould and it is probably necessary in a team that doesn't contain too many physical players. The strikers can use their strength to hold up the ball and give the wingers a chance to surge forward. It is an interesting tactic and seems to be working so far this season.

Since graduating to the Liverpool senior squad last year, the 21-year-old has had two loan spells away from Merseyside with contrasting fortunes. In January last year he joined Scottish side Hearts and made a great first impression by scoring the equaliser on his debut in the Scottish League Cup Semi-final. He also netted in the penalty shootout as they beat Inverness 5-4 to get to the final which they eventually lost. He had a good run in the team during this spell, scoring five goals, before struggling with a shoulder injury towards the end of the campaign.

A loan move to Yeovil last July didn't go as well though. Ngoo only made three starts and failed to score in any of his appearances. He couldn't break into the starting eleven and in the end was sent back to Liverpool by mutual consent after just three months, when the spell was originally planned to last all season.

The Glovers’ loss is Walsall’s gain though. Smith and Richard O’Kelly have obviously seen something in the Londoner to suggest that he is what the club needs and their judgement is often spot on. It will be tough to budge Westcarr from the team at the moment and Ngoo will probably have to be patient. However, he was brought in for a reason and will definitely get his opportunity at some point in the coming games.

It will be interesting to see whether Michael can have a positive affect on Walsall's results for the rest of the season, and help to establish the Saddlers as one of the favourites for the play-offs on sites like https://www.bwin.com.

By: Scott Brotherton.
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