Port Vale manager Michael Brown was keen to bolster his squad before the transfer window closed on August 31 and he managed to secure the services of Burnley defender Tom Anderson on loan. Can the 23-year-old help his new side tighten up at the back?
The Valiants failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their first four games this season, with Michael Brown’s side struggling at the bottom of League Two. Things were looking rosy when the relegated outfit began their campaign with a 3-1 win at Crawley but they’ve failed to build upon that success and fans will be hoping the new recruits can help fire their side up the table.
Vale have already added ex-Millwall winger David Worrall,striker Tyrone Barnett and Doncaster midfielder Harry Middleton this summer and many of their new recruits are still settling in at the club. Anthony Kay, Joe Davis and Gavin Gunning have also joined to steady the back-line and Anderson’s addition will help provide competition for places in defence.
The Burnley centre-back joins on a season-long loan and has previously spent time at Carlisle, Hyde, Barrow and Chesterfield. He made 40 appearances for the Spireites in 2016 and scored two goals during his time at the Proact Stadium. Having been born in the town itself, Anderson is desperate to break into the Burnley first team but Sean Dyche has opted to send the local boy out to gain more experience in the Football League. He has featured fairly regularly for the club’s under-23 side including in a recent victory over Ipswich.
Standing at 6ft 3inches, Anderson is decent in the air and takes a no-nonsense approach to keeping the opposition at bay. His style and endeavour during matches have previously been compared to Vale assistant coach Chris Morgan.
Anderson says his first priority is keeping clean sheets and is aiming to ‘do the basics right’, something which Port Vale have struggled with so far this campaign. He enjoyed two spells at Chesterfield with his latest stint beginning with a clean sheet against Oldham, however, the side struggled for form and were eventually relegated alongside the Valiants. The two sides have already met this season with Michael Brown’s side defeated 2-0 in Derbyshire on August 19.
Vale will need to arrest their slide down the table and their recent form is a concern. The high turnover of players hasn’t helped with consistency and many savvy punters have found value in backing against Michael Brown’s men this season. Experts on various European Leagues, such as Josh at Sports Predictor, have profited from backing against Vale at home, who have started as favourites in recent defeats to Crewe and Wycombe.
The new recruit has declared his primary aim is help his new club start climbing the table and his steady presence at the back could help in upcoming fixtures against two of the pre-season favourites Coventry and Luton. Anderson’s no-nonsense style should ruffle a few feathers at the back and he’ll be hoping to make an instant impact at Vale Park.