City defender Husband in Barton’s sights for Fleetwood reunion
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Fleetwood chief Joey Barton would take Norwich City defender James Husband back in a heartbeat.
Husband impressed during a loan stint with the League One club, after falling down the pecking order under Daniel Farke at Carrow Road last season.
The Canaries have since brought in Philip Heise to provide extra competition for first choice left back Jamal Lewis, but Barton is a huge admirer of the 25-year-old.
Husband is now approaching the final 12 months of his Norwich deal and Barton is not ruling out a potential reunion with the defender, or the rest of his loan contingent.
"They are not our players. If you offered me the opportunity to take them on a permanent, would I do it? Of course I would," he said.
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"James was low on confidence; you see him now, he bedded in and started to showcase his talent as a player. That is how you have to use the loan market. The most pleasing thing of all is his transformation as a human being.
"He is not perfect, you still have to be on him. But to see his growth as a player who came here from Norwich out in the wilderness, low on confidence, low on self-belief, and to see where he is at now is what this job is about.
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"It is great to win games. The real rewarding aspect of this job, that I did not see before this job, is the real difference you can make in people's lives by helping them find their way and play good football. It is great to see."
The former Everton and Manchester City midfielder admits his ability to wheel and deal this summer is a world away from the Premier League.
"Virtually every day I get 50 to 60 players put to me. Fifty of them are not worth a carrot and that is the challenge," he told the Fleetwood News. "For us we are shopping in the bargain basement, that is the reality of it. It is all very well for (Pep) Guardiola and (Jurgen) Klopp trading in Lamborghinis and Ferraris. We are used car salesmen down here.
"Every player or car that comes in has certain things that are not quite right. There are a lot of players out there, a lot of players who want to play. There are 900 to 950 who are playing football (in the top four tiers) but even more are not every Saturday.
"For us it is about picking through the minefield of, 'Why aren't they playing football? Are they not playing football because they are injured, de-motivated, not getting an opportunity or because somebody is better?'
"That is the nature of the beast we are swimming through every day."