‘Signing of the window?’ as patience pays off in pursuit of Penney

Mat Penney
Mat Penney

Patience paid off for Mansfield Town with the loan signing of hot Sheffield Wednesday prospect Matt Penney ahead of other bigger chasing clubs.

And Stags boss Steve Evans said several Wednesday stars had already told him the 19-year-old’s arrival at the One Call Stadium could yet prove to be the signing of the window.

“The boy has got everything. I don’t think there is any doubt that had Carlos Carvalho stayed at Sheffield Wednesday, this kid would have already been in the first team,” said Evans.

“When the news broke last night that we’d signed him, I got texts from experienced Sheffield Wednesday first teamers that I know personally, saying to me that this could be the signing of the transfer window.

“It was a big statement for them to make – but each one of them said it separately.

“It shows we have an exciting talent. He is 19 years old and I’ve told him he has to come here and work so hard and then go back to Hillsborough in the summer saying he is ready for Championship football.

“But you have to do it very, very well at this level to be ready for Championship football.”

Penney is likely to be used as a winger, but is very versatile.

“He is very comfortable as an attacking full back but he is more comfortable as an attacking wide midfield player on either side,” said Evans.

“People only have to look at YouTube to see an array of goals from this young man.

“I am not sending this kid up to be anything he’s not. He is a young man with a real chance.

“We have given him his first chance to play at first team level – and we’ve had to beat some other clubs to get him here.

“Locality plays a part and we know the people that look after Matt very well. We also know the Sheffield Wednesday staff really well.”

Evans said Mansfield had stayed patient and persistent in their pursuit of the youngster and paid tribute to club CEO Carolyn Radford for achieving his signature.

“Matt is a kid we have been talking to Sheffield Wednesday about for two and a half weeks on an almost daily basis,” he said.

“To be fair to Carolyn Radford she has had the patience of a saint to get this over the line. She is Saint Carolyn today!

“Thankfully the chief executive at Wednesday, who is a fantastic professional, and Carolyn, who is the same, got it done.

“He’s been on our radar since September/October and we’ve sent a lot of people to watch him.

“I spoke to Carlos in September but he wasn’t sure if he might be involved at first team level there.

“Obviously he moved, a new management team came in and pressures were different, results are key and that foresakes youngsters at times.

“We had a final look on Monday and I was told get him in the door if you can.”