Hartlepool Look To Plug Defence As Bates Bags Butler

Hartlepool United have moved to plug their leaky defence by signing one of Stoke City’s highly-rated prospects.

James Butler, 18, joins for two month with the club letting in eight goals in their last three National League games.

The teenager actually played against Pools in the FA Cup in October for Kidsgrove Athletic.

“I liked the look of James from the moment I saw him play in their FA Cup replay against Workington,” Bates, who was horrified by Saturday’s 4-0 loss at Bromley, told the club’s website.

“He has done extremely well for Kidsgrove, stood out against Workington and I also thought he had a very good game when they played up here against us.

“He’s obviously still very young but I was really impressed with the way he acquitted himself and with the reports I have had about him so this deal allows us to have a closer look at him with a view to something more long-term.

“The work is continuing behind the scenes and we’re chasing up a number of targets in various positions so I can assure fans we’re doing everything we can to strengthen the squad.”

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