Blackpool have landed Leyton Orient defender Marvin Ekpiteta who left Brisbane Road on the expiration of his current contract.
The central defender joined Orient in 2018 from East Thurrock and was a key part of their National League winning side of 2019. There was a huge desire to keep the player in East London, and he was offered terms across the season to stay with the O’s, but instead, he chose to move to Neil Critchley’s Blackpool.
“Marvin is an exciting young defender with bags of potential, and we’re thrilled to have him here,” said former Liverpool U23 coach Critchley. “He’s a player who has progressed from non-league and has impressed everywhere he has been, and this is the next step in his career. He’s an athletic defender, who will be a wonderful asset to the squad going forward.”
The 6ft 4in centre back started his career at Oxford United and has represented both Nigeria and England at Under-20 and C level, respectively. Leyton Orient Head Coach Ross Embelton expressed his regret at not being able to keep him in London.
“We’re very disappointed to lose any player, but someone like Marv who has been on a successful journey with us in recent times is hard to take,” said Embleton.
The player himself cited the excitement surrounding Blackpool, who had a tough campaign under Simon Grayson, as one of the main reasons for his move.
“I’ve spoken to Neil and the Club is oozing positivity at the moment, so I feel this is a perfect opportunity to show what I can do,” he said. “I love to defend and am also confident to play with the ball at my feet when the time is right, so I feel I have a lot to offer to Blackpool.”
Orient fans have thanked the defender for his efforts and expressed their regret at his departure from the club.
My boy’s first favourite Os player. Started to look really comfortable at league level after a shaky start last season, good luck @Big_Marvv ???
— Tim Smith (@TheTippingTim) July 8, 2020
Gutted about this wish him all the best ??⚽️
— Ciaran Derry (@Ciaranderry7) July 8, 2020
Think he was solid stepped up first season in the league think he get better. Don’t fault him one bit to step up in league one. Would have loved him to continue with the Os but that’s a selfish point all the best @Big_Marvv at you’re new club
— RYAN CAMERON LINDON (@LindonOrient) July 8, 2020
Good luck to him. Bit of a punt by Blackpool. Struggled at times last season with the pace of league two but seemed to be getting to grips towards the end. Another step up. Can he do it? Time will tell.
— Steve Chaplin (@SteveChaplin4) July 8, 2020
A shame, but fair play to him.
— Paul (@PaulSkinner88) July 8, 2020
Good luck to the big man can't begrudge him his move , tho will be a big loss but that's football.
— Spencer Night (@Speno011) July 8, 2020
It’s a pity, but it’s the risk you take once someone has less than a year left on their deal…
Wish him all the best.
— ???????? David Elias ??? (@elcowardo) July 8, 2020
Leyton Orient gave Marvin a big opportunity when he was playing at East Thurrock could have gave O’s a bit more time and show a bit more loyalty Orient as a club need to progress too.
— Mark Quane (@mbquane) July 8, 2020
Not good news only decent defender we had & he will go onto at least championship level.
— LDP (@Ldpking) July 8, 2020