Cobblers boss Chris Wilder is delighted that he has signed an ‘old fashioned midfield player’ in Ryan Watson for a second time.
The 22-year-old has agreed a loan deal at Sixfields until January 1, and will resume a Cobblers career that was curtailed by injury in October last year.
The Leicester City youngster was five impressive games into a four-month loan spell at Sixfields when he snapped the cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Watson returned to the King Power Stadium for his rehabilitation which was completed in the summer, and now fully fit again, Wilder has moved quickly to re-sign a player he admires tremendously.
Watson is set to go straight into the Cobblers starting line-up for Saturday’s Sixfields showdown with Plymouth Argyle in place of the suspended Jason Taylor, and Wilder is looking forward to getting the most out of a player he feels is the complete midfielder.
“Ryan is a central midfield player,” said the Town boss. “It makes me laugh when people talk about ‘is he a sitting midfield player or is he one that gets forward’.
“He is a midfield player. Old fashioned midfield players need to do everything, they need to tackle, they need to head it, they need to chase back, they need to cover and they need to get on the ball and pass it.
“Ryan does all of those things, and he is a player that last year we were desperate to get him in.
“I watched him possibly more than any player I have watched during my time at Northampton, and we were delighted to secure his signature.
“In the short space of time he was here he impressed ourselves, the coaching staff, his fellow professionals and the supporters.
“He was very good and it was really unfortunate that he suffered a knee injury and that cut short his time here and put a hold on his career.
“But knowing the character of the boy, he has worked extremely hard to get himself back going and get himself back to full fitness.
“I know a lot of managers say ‘he had this, that and the other club chasing him’, but he genuinely had other options to go to, and in a higher division.
“But he wanted to come back here, he enjoyed working with us, which is a compliment to the staff here, he enjoyed the club and he wanted to come back. He made that perfectly clear to the people at Leicester City.
“We are delighted we have got a very good, young, energetic midfield player until January 1.”
Wilder has suggested in recent weeks that his squad is now complete, but the signing of Watson suggests he is always ready to strike a deal for a player that will boost his squad.
“Ryan became available, and he makes us better, and you always have to do that as a manager,” said Wilder.
“You always have to look at it and say ‘can he make us better’ within reason, and within the financial budget.
“Ryan makes us better, and I am delighted we have gone and got him.”