Accrington Stanley have signed Ben Barclay on a free transfer from Premier League club Brighton Hove Albion.
The twenty-two-year-old arrives at Stanley on a one-year contract with the option of a further twelve months and becomes the third defender to join the club in the last four days following the capture of two full-backs in Zaine Francis-Angol and Joe Maguire.
The central defender started his career with Manchester City before moving down to the south coast in 2013. He made only one senior appearance for the Seagulls in the EFL Cup and spent the second half of last season on loan at Notts County in League Two. He made thirteen outings for the Magpies but was unable to help them avoid relegation into the National League.
Stanley manager John Coleman told the club’s official website: ‘He is a promising defender from Brighton, he came through at Manchester City, so he is technically a very good footballer.’
‘He had an opportunity last season in League Two with Notts County, and it’s a chance for him to kick on in League One and get more league experience under his belt.’
We are surprised by this signing as Barclay did not set the world alight at Meadow Lane.
Most County fans will also be surprised that his showings for their relegated team have earnt him a crack at League One.
However, Meadow Lane was a circus last season and it cannot of been easy for a young loan player to perform at his best in those circumstances.
It is also clear that John Coleman is a difficult man to argue against in terms of his transfer record and Stanley fans will be hoping a stable environment will give Barclay the platform to fulfil his potential.
If this turns out to be the case, Coleman might once again have worked his magic.