On-loan winger Banton can excite Pools’ crowd, insists boss Ronnie Moore

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Ronnie Moore has yet to discover his “David Mirfin” at the back, but he’s found a winger to “excite the crowd”.

The Hartlepool United boss has brought in Wycombe midfielder Jason Banton on a three-month loan deal.

Banton will come straight in for his debut at Dagenham & Redbridge in today’s vital League Two match and make his home bow against Barnet at Victoria Park on Tuesday night.

Moore has been looking for a box-to-box midfielder or winger for several weeks, without success.

Last week, the Pools manager bemoaned the reluctance of Premier League clubs to loan out their young talents to sides below League One.

His pursuit of a midfielder seemed to go on the back-burner after the 2-1 defeat at Northampton Town exposed more defensive vulnerability.

Moore said after the defeat at Sixfields that strengthening the weakest areas was his priority and he was desperate for a defender in the David Mirfin mould, the Scunthorpe centre-half who was so key to last season’s great escape being a success.

But, clearly, Moore has kept his ear to the ground for a midfielder and when Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth made Banton available, the Pools chief swooped.

“He’s a match winner, that’s for sure,” said Moore.

“He’s got fantastic ability and can play on the right wing or the left and he’s a player who can excite the crowd.

“At this current moment, we are looking for someone to light the blue touch paper and Jason is certainly one who can do that.”

Moore has seen Banton at close quarters, having played for the opening 75 minutes of the Chairboys’ 2-1 win at Adams Park last month, one of seven appearances for the club.

The 22-year-old signed for Wycombe from Plymouth Argyle in the summer and has a multitude of former clubs under his belt. Banton, from Tottenham, and spent his younger days at rivals Arsenal in their academy.

After leaving the Gunners at the age of 16, the Londoner signed for Blackburn Rovers in 2008, playing four times for England U17.

Banton joined Liverpool but left Anfield without appearing in the first-team squad before going on to join Leicester City, Crystal Palace and Plymouth.

The midfielder, who prefers the left wing, has also had loan spell at MK Dons and boasts a League Two player of the month award in his trophy cabinet.

“He’s got good experience to go with his ability and at the moment, that’s exactly what we are looking for,” added Moore on the club’s website.