New Blue: Alex Pattison

Our first acquisition of the summer arrived what seems like an eternity ago – it’s not even been two weeks – having left his boyhood club after 12 years. He never played competitively for the Boro first team but did turn out regularly for the U23s, as well as spending time on loan in the National League North and League Two. It’s premature to say the least to fully assess a youngster based on spells with an average seventh tier side and the 2018/19 EFL’s worst – the rather chaotic circumstances at the latter didn’t do him any favours – but he has shown sufficient glimpses of creativity and attacking flair to suggest that an exciting player lies within. And he’s come to the right place to realise his potential.

An attack-minded midfielder rather than the archetypal attacking midfielder, Pattison seems equally comfortable breaking into the box as he does picking out a pinpoint long pass – which should provide the option of injecting the midfield with some very welcome variety. He looked full of energy as soon as he came on in the opening friendly at Barnet – especially reassuring given the back injury that sidelined him for the best part of two months in the spring – and went close to scoring almost immediately, driving forward and unleashing a looping effort from 20 yards (although it wouldn’t have quite matched the worldie below). A fairly robust presence too, he’s not going to be bullied off the ball with any great ease.

Just how much of a part he’ll play and which system he’ll most effectively slot into remains to be seen – although it’s almost impossible to see him dislodging Gape or Thompson in a 4-4-2 – but the (very) early signs are certainly encouraging. It’s tricky to build up a full picture of any player at this level so early in their career and with such limited match footage freely available, but hopefully this offers up a decent enough overview for the time being. If nothing else at this stage, be confident that he’s an Ainsworth midfield signing; we’ve not done badly out of those in recent years…

Quick Facts & Stats

Born: 6th Sep 1997, Darlington

Nationality: English

Position: Midfielder

Former clubs: Middlesbrough (2015-2019), Yeovil (loan (2018-2019)), York (loan x2 (2017-2018))

Senior record: 49 appearances, 0 goals | Debut: 16/12/17, Kidderminster 2-1 York (FA Trophy) | Last appearance: 04/05/19, Yeovil 0-0 Carlisle (League Two)

Thanks to Gabriel Sutton of The Football Lab for lending a hand with his insight.

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