Port Vale have given an indication of their ambition by completing a permanent deal for former loan player Lewis Cass.
Cass, who was a runway success until injury cut short his loan deal has joined. The length of the deal has not been disclosed.
An official statement said:
Port Vale Football Club is delighted to confirm that Lewis Cass will join the club from Newcastle United on July 1st, on the expiration of his contract with the Magpies.
The 22-year-old will arrive from Premier League side Newcastle United following his impressive loan spell at Vale Park this season.
Cass made his name in the Newcastle United Under-23 side, where he acted as an almost ever-present for a number of years, earning him his first professional contract with the club in July 2018.
The defender featured on the bench for the Magpies’ FA Cup third round clash at Rochdale in the 2019/20 campaign before
spending the 2020/21 season on loan at Hartlepool United, helping them to secure promotion to Sky Bet League Two.
Cass displayed his versatility whilst on loan at Vale Park this season, playing across the back-three, whilst also featuring as a wing-back in Darrell Clarke’s system.
His impressive displays saw him play a central role in our side, making 27 appearances and scoring once in our 5-1 FA Cup win over League One side Accrington Stanley.
A freak injury in late January saw Cass’ season cut short, but he remained close to the first team, meeting up with them during our away trip to Hartlepool United and also assisting with opposition scouting roles.
Manager Darrell Clarke said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Lewis back to the club.
“His injury was a crushing blow for both him and the club but I’m happy to see that he has come back even stronger than before.
“He will give us options at the back and is a well-liked personality in the cha means he will fit straight back in to the squad.
“During his recovery he has been the ultimate professional and has worked hard to make sure he will be back as soon as possible, that’s all you can ask for, he’s a good lad and I can’t wait to get working with him during pre-season.”
Director of Football, David Flitcroft added: “It is fantastic to see Lewis back at the club and we can’t wait to see him join with the boys again here at Vale Park.
“When Lewis was originally with us you could see him getting better and better as each day went on and it was a crushing blow to lose him in the manner that we did.
“I spoke to Darrell, Andy and Dean and the way they all spoke about him you could see they admired him, it was a massive factor in us making sure he came back, it was a collective decision.
“He has been working incredibly hard since his injury and I believe we’re getting a better Lewis Cass that left us and I’m excited to see what impact he can make in League One.
“Lewis has the right attitude and has the ability to succeed and I believe he can truly be whatever he wants to be, he’s the kind of boy that keeps his head down and works hard
“There was a number of clubs in for his signature and it’s testament to the atmosphere around the club that has been built by the manager and the staff that Lewis chose to continue his career with us.”
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