Port Vale could add free agent midfielder to squad

Port Vale are taking a close look at 30 year-old free agent Lewis McGugan, first-team manager John Askey has confirmed.

The Vale are desperately short of numbers in midfield and if McGugan can prove his fitness he could fit the bill as Askey tries to add quality and experience to his under pressure squad.

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The talented central midfielder began his career at Nottingham Forest, progressing through the club’s youth system. He made over two hundred appearances for Forest, many of the games coming in the Championship. McGugan has then had spells with Watford, Sheffield Wednesday (both in the Championship) before a spell with Northampton Town in League One last season.

The Valiants failed to add any experience in the January transfer window – a period that was hampered by then manager Neil Aspin leaving the club – and a managerless Valiants added a number of young Academy players from higher level clubs to their ranks. So far, neither of the two young midfielders, Callum Whelan and Toby Edser have made the Valiants first-team squad.

With Manny Oyeleke plagued by injuries and veteran Anthony Kay not getting any younger, John Askey’s squad clearly look short of energy and legs in the centre of the park.

We all know Lewis can play, he has been a very good player. He is still only 30, it is just whether we feel he still has the legs to do a job for us…

Manager Askey told the media: “Lewis McGugan is on trial so it is just assessing his fitness. We all know Lewis can play, he has been a very good player. He is still only 30, it is just whether we feel he still has the legs to do a job for us.

“We do need footballers, we need people who can get on the ball and pass the ball.

“It is not as though he is 35, he is still a decent age, but obviously we have to assess his fitness.”

The club could be tempted to offer the free agent a short-term deal, potentially until the end of the season, if he impresses in training and reserve team games.

Lewis McGugan Factfile

Age: 30

Clubs: Nottingham Forest, Watford, Sheff Wed, Northampton Town

Games: 324

Goals: 64

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