John Bostock is a ‘Glenn Hoddle type’ talent who is as good a transfer windows signing as any club could make.
That’s the run down on Sheffield Wednesday’s loan capture of the Tottenham midfielder from the man who made him one of football’s youngest ever players.
Neil Warnock was the boss who handed Bostock a debut aged just 15 years and 287 days to become the youngest player in Crystal Palace’s history. A year later, after a much-trumpeted move across London into the Premiership, he also became Tottenham’s youngest.
Now Warnock, who is favourite to take over at Leeds following the sacking of Simon Grayson, is backing Bostock to fulfill his prodigious potential - and one comment above all suggests that Gary Megson could be the ideal manager to develop it.
“John’s work rate was questioned but I think he will have grown up a lot,” Warnock told the Telegraph after learning of the 20-year-old’s switch to Hillsborough.
That will be a basic demand from Megson who has always welded his teams on the effort ethic. Once instilled, Bostock clearly has many gifts to bestow despite the overall disappointment of previous loan spells with Brentford and Hull.
“I thought John made a mistake leaving Palace so early,” said Warnock. “A year or two more there would have given him a better understanding of the game.
“He had so many plaudits at such a young age and, after going out from Spurs on loan, he struggled. But there’s no question he has great ability.
“There’s that super left foot of his and great vision, too. He’s a Glenn Hoddle type - can spot a pass out of nothing. It will be interesting to see how he goes and hopefully Sheffield Wednesday can bring out the best in him. You couldn’t get many better loan signings at this stage.”
Bostock’s versatility has caused a debate over whether he will be deployed left, right or centre in Wednesday’s midfield. Warnock believes the choice has to be narrowed down. “For me, John has to be played in the middle somewhere,” added the former Sheffield United boss, taking a break from the game but alive to a return after his harsh recent sacking by Queens Park Rangers. “He hasn’t got enough pace to play wide.”
It was from a central role that Bostock unleashed a truly fantastic goal - enjoyed this week by his followers on Twitter - while playing on loan with Hull early last season, a 30-yard hit from that left foot of his.
Megson may have other ideas, having introduced Bostock from the bench in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against MK Dons, who visit Huddersfield on Saturday. It means the Owls have an excellent chance of reclaiming second place if they win at home to Yeovil.
Wednesday are likely to firm up an interest in Swansea midfielder Ferrie Bodde when the loan window reopens.