Mariners fend off League One clubs to capture England startlet

Grimsby Town beat off interest from three League One clubs to bring England under-20 defender Easah Suliman to Blundell Park, according to the Birmingham Mail.

The Aston Villa centre-half expressed a desire to leave the Championship side on loan in January and was granted permission on transfer deadline day.

A trio of League One clubs, Oldham Athletic, Shrewsbury Town and Northampton Town have closely monitored the player, who impressed on loan at Cheltenham Town last season, but it is the Mariners who have brought the central defender to Cleethorpes.

Alex Dicken from the Birmingham Mail stated: “Easah Suliman has been hoping to secure a loan move away from Aston Villa this month and taste life away from Villa Park for the second time in his career.

“The 19-year-old defender enjoyed a four-month stint at League Two side Cheltenham Town at the beginning of last season and made 12 appearances before returning to B6.

“Under-23 manager Kevin MacDonald has been impressed with Suliman’s progress over the last 18 months and the club are now confident he’s ready for League One football.”

But question marks over the fitness of experienced centre-halves John Terry and Chris Samba meant that Suliman’s temporary move away from Villa Park was delayed.

And that allowed the Mariners, who spent time at Villa’s training ground on the way to Tuesday’s defeat at Yeovil, to step in.

Manager Russell Slade bringing the young England starlet to Blundell Park as the Mariners hope to halt a run of ten games without a win and having lost centre-half Karleigh Osborne to suspension after his dismissal at Huish Park.

Suliman enjoyed a dream 2017, winning the under-19 European Championship in the summer after scoring the opening goal in England’s 2-1 victory over Portugal (below).

He later made his Villa debut in a 4-1 Carabao Cup win over Wigan Athletic in August.

The 20-year-old is the first Muslim to have captained England at any age level and saw his achievements recognised at the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards last year.

He goes straight into the Mariners’ squad for Saturday’s game and could make his bow for the League Two side against former club Cheltenham.

 

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