FORMER Hartlepool United favourite Marco Gabbiadini believes that Martyn Waghorn could relaunch his career at Victoria Park.
Pools have this week been linked with a loan move for the ex-Sunderland striker, who has found himself out of favour at Leicester City following a £3m switch two years ago.
Gabbiadini – who scored 87 times for the Black Cats between 1987 and 1991 – is well aware of Waghorn’s pedigree, although he admits Sunderland followers did not see enough of the South Shields-born star in red and white.
Indeed, the 22-year-old appeared just eight times for the senior side despite a heavily-hyped progression through the Academy of Light, which included England Under-21 recognition.
He was last season shipped out on loan to Hull City but returned to Leicester before the end of the campaign and scored in a 2-1 win at Leeds United in April.
But Waghorn could be allowed to leave the King Power Stadium on loan this summer and Pools are monitoring the situation.
Gabbiadini, though, feels that a move to his old club could be exactly what the powerful frontman needs.
“At Leicester it probably hasn’t worked out as he would have liked,” said Gabbiadini, with Waghorn’s Foxes record reading played 37, scored five.
“There’s been a lot of change there over the past couple of years and if he’s not been given a real chance then it’s difficult.
“A loan move to somewhere like Hartlepool might be what he needs to freshen him up.
“Football careers are fragile things and you need to make the most of them.
“So if he needs to drop down a level to play football and get his confidence back then so be it, good luck to him I say.”
Waghorn, then aged just 17, made a surprise Sunderland debut during a 4-0 home defeat to Manchester United on Boxing Day, 2007.
That, though, was to prove one of just two starts he would make for the Black Cats, and Gabbiadini went on: “Martyn was one of those who left Sunderland and maybe fans thought he should have been given more of a chance.
“I must admit that I haven’t seen as much of him as I would have liked, and a lot of supporters probably feel the same.
“The money Sunderland got at the time went on the Asamoah Gyan deal and you can see why he was sold, but I think a lot of people had hoped they would keep a young player of such promise.
“He knew where the goal was and was a powerful, young lad.
“He needed the experience but wasn’t going to get it at Sunderland.
“But it’s the age-old problem when you’re a young lad at a Premier League club.
“You need that break in the first-team but it’s hard to get when there’s so much pressure on managers to get results.
“Hopefully now he can get back on track and if that’s at Hartlepool then great.”