Sion Spence has revealed Joey Barton’s desired style of play was key in luring the Crystal Palace prospect to Bristol Rovers.
The 20-year-old, a Wales under-21 international, was unveiled as a Rovers player on Friday after signing a season-long loan deal.
Spence has been a standout player in development football, scoring seven goals and adding four assists from midfield in 15 Premier League 2 games last season.
He is confident Gas boss Barton will help him thrive in men’s football this season.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” Spence told the club’s website. “I’ve been looking to get out on loan for a while so I’m really grateful for the chance I’ve been given.
“Hopefully I can take it and help the club get back up to League One.
“There were quite a few things (which attracted me to the club. Obviously the way the gaffer wants to play, I think it suits me, and he’s shown quite a lot of faith in me.”
Spence became Rovers’ eighth signing of the summer so far, with a loan deal for Barnsley winger Luke Thomas likely to follow soon.
The Penarth-born playmaker will be competing for a place in Barton’s XI alongside the likes of Sam Nicholson, Aaron Collins and Zain Westbrooke.
The Cardiff City academy graduate is confident he can deliver in the blue and white quarters.
“I’ve always been able to score goals but I want to help the team, getting goals and assists, tracking back and defending, I try to do it all,” he continued.
“I want to score some goals, get some assists and help the club get promoted. That is the aim of everyone here and hopefully we can do that.”
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Spence has lined up with one Rovers player in the past in Pablo Martinez, with the pair playing in Wales’ youth ranks together, and the player admits it is helpful to be met by a familiar face on his first loan move in the professional game.
“It’s always a bit nerve-racking to move to a new club, so to get time to know everyone and their playing styles, it’s exactly what you need,” Spence said.
“He’s (Martinez) been great with me, like all the boys have. It’s easier when you know someone.”