John Guidetti signs for Burnley FC on loan
BURNLEY boss Brian Laws has swooped to sign Manchester City striker John Guidetti - dubbed the “Swedish Wayne Rooney” on loan.
And, ahead of the emergency loan window closing at 5 p.m. this evening, centre back Leon Cort joined neighbours Preston North End for a month.
Guidetti, 18, has only featured once for City’s first team, claiming an assist for Brazilian striker Jo in the Blues’ 2-1 Carling Cup defeat at West Brom.
But he first caught Laws’ eye on his reserve team debut for City at Turf Moor in March, scoring a hat-trick in a 4-1 win against an Burnley side packed with experience.
Signed by compatriot Sven Goran Eriksson aged just 15 from the Brommapojkarna youth system, City beat off interest from the likes of Inter, Sampdoria, Lazio and Roma for his services.
He returned on loan to Brommapojkarna at the back end of the English season, scoring three goals in eight appearances in the Allsvenska, before returning to Eastlands.
A Swedish Under 21 international, with one cap, he scored 14 goals in as many appearances for the Under 19s.
He arrives at Burnley, with the club having fostered close relations with City, through good friends Stuart Gray and David Platt, who played together at Aston Villa.
Gray was offered the role of assistant boss to Platt at Nottingham Forest in 1999, although he turned down the post.
Laws said of his new striker: “This opportunity of bringing John Guidetti in is a different one. We’ve got to keep looking at young players and one of those was him. He caught our eye in a Manchester City reserve game against us and we said we had to keep an eye on the kid.
“He did extremely well against us, against two experienced players as well. He ran them ragged a wee bit.
“We realised he was a tender age but although he’s young he is a man inside of a young man’s body. He’s very confident with it as well.
“We’ve kept close tabs on it, and we’ve got a good link into Manchester City at the moment.
“Stuart Gray and David Platt are best mates. You always need some connection to get in because sometimes they’re closed shops. But we’ve got a close link and that helps us.
“We’re forging a good relationship with them, they see that we’re doing the right things and that encourages them to come out.
“There’s a good connection there that we feel we need use and when the right time was going to come when we could get him in to have a look at him, we wanted to be the first to get a look at these lads, not second or third.
“He’s on our doorstep and I think it’s remiss of us if we miss this opportunity.
“It gives me a good chance to have a look at him, not just for now but longer term.
“He has good movement, he’s strong, he’s a very good finisher and he’s playing above his age.
“It will just give us another lift, it will be another body in and it will also give me something that I haven’t got at the moment.”
Guidetti was linked with a reunion with Eriksson at Leicester City, and the Stockholm-born frontman was interested in first team football in the Championship.
But he is in line to get that now with Burnley, adding to Laws’ strike options.
Guidetti laughs off the Rooney comparisons: “I’ll be grateful and take that comparison, but maybe it’s a bit exaggerated.
“I don’t want to be the Swedish Rooney, and anyway I would rather be compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“I’m John Guidetti, I don’t want to be anyone else. I just want to be myself.”
The loan will be until January 3rd, with an option to extend the deal.
Cort, meanwhile has made a switch to Preston until December 31st yesterday.
He has not featured in the starting line-up since being sent off against Reading, and Laws is eager to get him some games, while the squad is well-stock with centre backs: “Leon Cort will be disappointed because he’s lost his position due to being sent off for the first time in his career, and it’s cost him in a way because of the qualities we already have within the camp.
“He’s another player who wants to play.
“This is a great opportunity for him to go and get some games under his belt, it keeps him fresh and on his toes, it gets him ready for the winter period for us.
“Preston North End are at the bottom end so it doesn’t affect where we send him in that sense.
“We’re not sending him to a rival in terms of them being at the top end.
“It gives him a freshness.
“It’s a good position for us to be in.
“It’s 28 days and then we’ll review it.
“We’ve got to make sure Leon gets the game time now so he can be ready.
“As we experienced at Millwall the lads who came in there, if they don’t get the games it catches up with you.
“It caught (Cort) and (Michael) Duff out.
“While we’re strong at the back and the centre halves are competitive, and with Andre fit and ready to go it’s a good opportunity for Leon.
“We’ve had a fantastic response from Andre Bikey.
“He’s ready and waiting now, his mindset’s good, his physicality is excellent now.
“We know we’ve got him back.”