Rhys Norrington-Davies joins his new teammates at Stoke City today hoping to play an immediate role in the club’s push for the top six.
Michael O’Neill has brought in the 21-year-old left-back on loan for the rest of the season with the side nicely posed, two points outside the Championship play-off zone with half the games to play – starting with a trip to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
Norrington-Davies had been with Luton but was recalled by Sheffield United yesterday morning before being allowed straight back out, becoming the seventh Wales international on Stoke’s books.
He said: “There is a lot of hard work still to go and we have to kick on for the second half of the season.
“I’ve spoken to Joe Allen, even though I’ve never actually played with him, and Rabbi Matondo, who I know quite a bit.
“There are familiar faces. It’s been good. All the boys are friendly and I’m looking forward to getting out on the training pitch with the lads and hopefully be out this weekend.”
The deal happened quickly as Stoke moved to find competition and cover for Morgan Fox, who is out with a hamstring injury.
Norrington-Davies said: “It’s happened very quickly to be fair. There was initial interest but from the point of getting me in it’s happened in the last couple of days, only speaking to the gaffer (on Monday).
“I’ve got high ambitions. I want to become a Premier League player and I feel like this is a stepping stone from where I was.
“No disrespect for Luton, who are a great club, massive club, but I feel like this is the best move for me at the moment to come into a system, 4-3-3, and hopefully be playing week in, week out at left-back and bringing my game to Stoke and show everyone what I’m about.”
The Welsh brigade
Seven and counting and the city is now being dubbed Stoke-on-Gwent.
Norrington-Davies joins Adam Davies, James Chester, Morgan Fox, Joe Allen, Sam Vokes and new arrival Rabbi Matondo.
These current Potters follow in some famous – and some infamous – Welsh footsteps at a club where Delilah has rung out from the stands for 35 years. Not to mention managers including Mark Hughes, Tony Pulis, Nathan Jones and Alan Durban.
We have dug out five for inspiration.
Who is Rhys Norrington-Davies?
There has been chatter about his athleticism and attacking play – but with the stature of a fella who could end up as a centre-half.
The Daily Mail’s secret scout reported in November: “A tall, powerful player, he is difficult to shake off the ball when he moves forward. When he gets into his stride he is most determined, with weak challenges bouncing off him as he hugs the touchline.
“Well-built with fair pace, he was confident in his defending… He has the build of a central defender and perhaps he may settle there.”
Wherever he plays there is plenty of energy and commitment.