Forest Green Rovers Beat Out Championship Competition For New Signing

Forest Green Rovers are set to complete the signing of former Middlesbrough goalkeeper Luke Daniels, according to sources for TEAMtalk.

Daniels has reportedly turned down multiple offers from Championship clubs as a backup keeper to sign for recently relegated Rovers, where he will become their new first-choice goalkeeper as they prepare for life back in the fourth division.

Who is Luke Daniels?

Born in Bolton, Daniels started his career in the Manchester United academy before moving on to West Brom’s academy in 2004 and signed his first-professional contract with the Baggies after completing his scholarship.

After making only two appearances on loan at Motherwell in Scotland, Daniels moved on loan to Tranmere Rovers and then onto Shrewsbury Town. He was part of the Salop side that made the 2008 League Two Play-Off Final which they lost 3-2 to Stockport County. Before making the loan move to Tranmere, he signed a contract extension at West Brom.

Further loan spells at the likes of Charlton Athletic, Rochdale, Bristol Rovers and Southend United saw the goalkeeper make limited appearances, but he eventually became second choice to Martin Fulop at West Brom. During the 2012-13 season, Daniels was still second choice at the Baggies, this time behind Boaz Myhill.

Daniels made his long-awaited West Brom debut in a 0-0 draw against Everton, coming on as a 77th-minute substitute for the injured Ben Foster, before making his first full start in a 3-0 victory against Newport County in the League Cup.

Daniels finally left West Brom in the January transfer window of 2015 to Scunthorpe United, with just three first-team appearances for the Baggies in eight and a half years, compared to the 114 total appearances he had made during his loan spells away.

Daniels played 109 times for the Iron and kept 27 clean sheets in 78 matches at League One level – the most of any goalkeeper during his time at Scunthorpe.

He was next on the move to Championship side Brentford on a free transfer and made 17 appearances. Those often came as back-up goalkeeper to both Dan Bentley and David Raya, before making the move to Middlesbrough.

The goalkeeper made 12 appearances during the 2021-22 season, where Boro just missed out on a play-off spot. However, the signings of both Zack Steffen and Liam Roberts saw him demoted to third-choice goalkeeper.

Writer’s View

Forest Green are getting a goalkeeper with plenty of experience at all levels of the Football League pyramid. This could be essential to the Nailsworth-based side, who are looking to return to League One at the first time of asking. There may be some questions over the lack of football that Daniels has played over the past few seasons as well as the fact he is 35. But experience at League Two level is what every club needs, and Forest Green are getting that experience in early.

 

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