League Two side Port Vale have completed the loan signing of Lewis Hardcastle from Blackburn Rovers, as well as Ben Whitfield, who makes a permanent switch from Bournemouth.
Manager Neil Aspin told the club’s official website he was delighted with his acquisitions. Of Hardcastle he said:
“He’s a player that I’ve watched a few years ago when he was on loan at Salford, when he was a young lad. He’s obviously been someone who I’ve kept an eye on.”
Whitfield returns for a second spell at Vale Park, this time on a permanent deal. He enjoyed a successful year with the Valiants last season, appearing 37 times scoring four goals. The 22-year-old has signed a two-year permanent deal with the club, keeping him at Vale Park until 2020.
Again, Aspin has expressed his delight having captured one of his primary targets, despite indifferent form after Christmas.
“We’ve had numerous discussions on Ben and my position has never changed. The Ben Whitfield that played when I joined, certainly through December, did very well. He was an asset to the team and worked exceptionally hard. The chairman has always been very keen to bring him back to the club. I wanted to meet with Ben and his father first to speak to them. As far as I’m concerned it’s a fresh start and he will be considered like all of the other players for a place in the team.”
It is a good double swoop for Vale, but we have to question the Whitfield deal. How can he sign a two-year deal when the permanent window has already closed?
There’s no mention of this being a loan deal, which we’re sure it has to be. Either way, both player will add value to a Vale side who have started inconsistently in League Two this season. They’re currently 15th having won two and lost three.