Doncaster Rovers have announced the signing of goalkeeper Thimothée Lo-Tutala from Hull City on a loan deal until the end of the season.
The position has been a hot topic amongst Doncaster fans over the last week with fans conflicted on the capabilities of Louis Jones. Having lost 5-1 to Stockport County last Saturday, the brunt of the blame was perhaps unfairly put on the goalkeeper, with the defence allowing numerous opportunities for the league leaders to then punish.
Jones is however not the first choice goalkeeper at the club, that would be Ian Lawlor. Saying that, the former has made more appearances out of the two this season, with the latter having to undergo a season ending hip operation after an injury in late December.
Manager Grant McCann downplayed the rumours that another keeper would be signed to challenge Jones earlier in the week by saying:
“Louis Jones is a really good young goalkeeper. What I don’t want to do is stop his development. It’s important that he continues to play and do well. I think he’s been really good this season. I know goalkeepers always get looked at (after a big loss) but we’re a team so we score together and we concede together.”
However the manager has since brought in competition to Jones in the form of Lo-Tutala, supposedly to push each-other’s development.
The 20-year-old already has experience in the fourth tier, having been sent out on an emergency loan to Stevenage last season. During that spell with the now League One side, Lo-Tutala would keep three clean sheets in seven games, only letting four goals in during that spell.
He would prove his promise in that spell with the Boro and looks likely to earn some more game time in League Two now with Doncaster.
Speaking to club media, McCann was full of praise for his latest recruit.
“I’m really pleased with this one. We felt it was important to get a keeper in given the news Ian Lawlor is probably going to be out for the rest of the season which is really disappointing for us.
“He comes with a real high pedigree, he’s thought highly of at Hull and had a really good loan last season and helped Stevenage with their promotion to League One.
“We feel it’s a really good signing for us that adds competition in that area. We want to keep that department strong.”
The Frenchman, who has represented his country up to under-20 level, is available for Saturday’s relegation six-pointer with Sutton United and may well be handed the start.
This is a signing which may go under the radar given the numerous other moves happening this deadline day. It is an excellent piece of business by Rovers and will also be extremely useful for Lo-Tutala’s development.
It is expected that he will be handed the starting role at some point and may well hold the spot down if performing as he did for Stevenage last season. It’s a signing which could work out very well for both the club and the player and could be one that is pivotal to Doncaster’s survival chances this season. A win against Sutton on Saturday would boost those chances even further and the youngster may rightfully be handed the opportunity between the sticks.