George Saville – A Blessing In Disguise

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Peterborough away was a gloomy day all round, shipping five goals, two injuries to crucial players; both in midfield with Jimmy Abdou and Ed Upson. It felt like everything that could go wrong did so that day, on another day we would’ve scored five, but the untimely injuries brought panic and most worrying whether we’d struggle in the next batch of matches. However on the day of our JPT clash at home to Northampton, Harris brought a rabbit out of the bag with the loan signing of Wolves midfielder George Saville, the one time Chelsea youth player. Saville was part of a Chelsea youth side that won the FA Youth Cup in 2010, which kick started a glory spell for the Chelsea youth sides. He signed his first senior contract in the following summer, however had failed to play a single game in the first team, with his closest chance coming as an unused sub in the cup.

Saville’s first loan spell came in February 2013, when he actually joined our beloved lions, playing three games, his first in senior football. To be honest, Saville at the time he went unnoticed in a side which struggled and only just survived on the last game of the season, Jackett’s last game in charge. The following season he went on loan to fellow London club Brentford in League One, going onto play 40 games for the side which won promotion from the league. It was enough to convince Kenny Jackett to sign him again, this time at Wolves on a permanent deal for a seven-figure deal. He has since struggled to make an impact at Molineux, with chances limited and competition high in the squad, injuries haven’t helped Saville either during his time up the M40. He spent the latter of last season on loan at Bristol City, helping City win the league and another promotion from League One on Saville’s CV.

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He is now with us in his second spell at the club, and since signing has played every minute of the last five games in all competitions, in these games Neil Harris’ side have picked up four wins and a single draw, coincidence with Saville’s arrival? I think not. The young midfielder has been a revelation since rejoining, carrying the midfield in each game he has played, the statistics also back this up with an average pass completion rate of 85%, this compared with Williams who only has 77%. Saville also has a higher tackle success rate of 63% compared to 55% of Williams, I can keep going with Saville having higher cross completion and more distance covered, it shows signs of an outstanding central midfielder. Saville has been the link between defence and attack, not afraid to offer the short option, often willing to take the ball to feet under pressure in tricky situations. We’ve also seen his defensive side in his game, pressing on the front foot and also a crunching tackle or two. His last game for us if his current loan deal was to end would be Plymouth away in the JPT area quarter final, three more games before the chat between the two clubs continues, below I’ve managed to gather a summary of what was for me his best performance so far, at home to Swindon Town.

Losing both Abdou and Upson at the same time could’ve been fatal to the side, Abdou especially was a vocal point in the way Harris wants his side to play, but Saville has done a great job, and it makes me question how long we will be able to hang onto him. The deal is only an initial 28-day loan spell, with both Wolves and Millwall saying at the time “We will see how it goes”. I think Harris would be crazy to not ask whether we could keep the midfielder until the end of the season, however with Wolves struggling to find form in The Championship, Jackett could recall the midfielder and throw him straight into his side. With both Upson and Abdou initially ruled out until end of November, I’d like to think as a fan Harris will be already attempting to get a deal in place with Wolves, however as fans we don’t make decisions and I guess we will leave it with our manager.

What have you made of Saville since joining? Leave a comment below or send me a Twitter response!

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