I’ll be the first to hold my hands up – I was cautious about the signing of Luke Varney. I’ve always liked him as a player, but taking someone on loan who is out of favour at a team in a lower division is an odd move. It’s not the first time Holloway has done it, most notably Andy Butler played a number of games on loan from Huddersfield last season. The major difference this time being the added intensity of the Premier League. Whether Varney could cut it in the top flight was in doubt.
That was some debut, though. Varney was involved in nearly all of ‘Pool’s attacking play and was a constant thorn in the side of the Fulham backline. If you were to consider the former Crewe man’s key attributes, pace and skill would be the two that spring to mind. What impressed me most was his hunger. Varney put himself about all game long and on one occasion even sent the colossus Hangeland crashing to the ground. It is this level of desire which has been the hallmark of Blackpool sides in the last couple of seasons, which indicates he’s going to fit right in.
Taking a look at the chalkboards, it’s easy to see how Varney overshadowed Ormerod and Taylor-Fletcher in the opening home fixture. The new boy had seven attempts while GTF had just the one – Ormerod failed to unleash a single shot.
Of course, one game is only one game. Whether Varney can continue to impress on a weekly basis remains to be seen. He certainly looks a useful addition to the squad, and with more forwards being added on deadline day plus Harewood to come back from injury, Ormerod and Taylor-Fletcher will be looking over their shoulders.