Carl Rushworth has joined Walsall on a season-long loan from Brighton & Hove Albion.
Rushworth, who a year ago was linked with a move to Barcelona, is heading to the Bescot Stadium instead ahead of the 2021/22 League Two campaign.
Matthew Taylor’s side have been in search of a goalkeeper since Liam Roberts departed to Northampton Town. Last season, Roberts played 32 times but found himself on the sidelines for the end of the campaign as he was replaced by ex-Southampton keeper Jack Rose.
Rushworth will now be in competition with Rose for the Number 1 jersey this term.
A loan move to Walsall signals Rushworth’s first venture into the top four divisions after a spell with the Under 23s at Brighton. Although back in 2019, the 20-year-old spent the campaign with Worthing Town on loan.
The new Walsall keeper told the club’s website: “I’m buzzing with the move. My agent was speaking to me and Brighton were speaking to me about how this move could potentially be on offer and ever since I heard that I was always wanting to come here.
“I like the fact that the Head Coach wants to play out from the back. That is one of my main attributes as a goalkeeper.”
While Taylor had this to say: “Carl is somebody who came to our attention early on in the recruitment process for a goalkeeper.
“He fits the ethos of the football club, the way that we want to play next season and he is going to provide good competition in that position.”
The quotes from Matthew Taylor seem to indicate that Rushworth will be first choice upon the start of the campaign especially due to the preference of playing out from the back.
It would also be easy to assume that Rushworth would not have joined Walsall had there not been assurances over game time.
Overall, it looks a solid addition for Walsall and, if game time materialises, it will be a beneficial loan for all involved.