Stoke City’s teenage defender Connor Taylor is making quite an impression out on loan.
The centre half is gaining experience at Chester FC and made his first start for the National League North side in their 1-0 win at home to Guiseley on Tuesday.
He had previously been used off the bench and built on the positive impression he made then by being voted supporters’ man of the match in the Guiseley game.
He was also praised by Chester’s joint-manager Anthony Johnson who believes Stoke have a real talent on their hands.
The 19 year old joined Chester on an initial month’s loan on December 18 but Johnson and fellow manager Bernard Morley are looking to extend that deal.
Johnson said: “We will have to speak to Stoke, because the reports we are getting are they are really impressed with him and there is almost talk of him going back and training with the first team.
“I thought he was really decent. We have talked to him about being aggressive. I think when people hear that word they think it means elbowing people and slide-tackling all over the pace. But being aggressive is about stepping out with the ball, passing with a real purpose and being aggressive with your movements on set pieces.
“He has looked like a 30-year-old centre back who has been playing for 12 years not someone that has just been dropped in for their debut. He looks like a real prospect for Stoke. Hopefully we can keep him because he provides that competition that we need throughout the squad.
“Even though we are in January we still have well over half the season to go.
“If he goes back, then it will open a door for us to do something else but if we can keep him then brilliant.”
Chester are second in the National League North and their reputation for playing attractive football under Johnson and Morley won’t hurt in loaning players from higher division sides.
Johnson believes the loans also give academy players the opportunity to develop through first team football.
He said: “Clubs can see it’s not just about technically being good football players, but being out in a position where they have to win games, where people’s jobs are on the line.
“With us, not only are they playing at a good level of football, playing in a good side with good footballers like George Glendon , Anthony Dudley etc..but are also being exposed to winning and losing which is absolutely vital for their future careers.”