MICK Wadsworth believes Hartlepool United have pulled off an “incredible coup” with the signing of South American superstar Nolberto Solano.
The former Newcastle United winger, Peru’s most celebrated sporting export, joins Pools in a move which has thrown the national spotlight on Victoria Park.
And Wadsworth, who was at St James’s Park at the same time as Solano, is thrilled at the prospect of joining forces with the player he admits was “a joy to work with”.
“It’s a great signing and what an incredible coup it is,” the Pools boss said.
“It’s not just a coup for the club, but a chance for our players to play alongside him and our younger players to learn from him.
“He was a joy to work with at Newcastle and I just can’t wait to work with him once again.
“He was the same happy person every day and the same fantastic player every game – a real pleasure to have. He’s just a really great character.
“He’s got fantastic pedigree and it’s terribly exciting to have a player like that on our books.”
Solano, now 36, was turning out for Championship side Hull City last season and had the opportunity to remain on Humberside.
However, with no guarantee of regular football, the offer from his former coach Wadsworth was too good to turn down.
“This isn’t a swansong for him. The deal was done quickly because he just wants to play football and enjoy football,” Wadsworth said
And he believes Solano’s footballing guile means his ageing legs are far less of a concern.
“He’s never been a fast runner,” he said, “But when I worked with him at Newcastle he had guile, craft, cleverness and an incredible football brain – as good as I’ve come across.
“You don’t lose that and I saw him play last season and he was outstanding.”
H Hartlepool United have also completed the capture of former loan star James Poole and tied down James Brown to a new contract.
especially given the ground-breaking £100 price promise should the club sell more than 4,000 tickets.
Not since the signing of Peter Beardsley have Pools landed a player of such international standing – a fact not lost on Wadsworth and chairman Ken Hodcroft.
“I don’t know if Nobby is our most famous player ever, but he’s up there,” said Wadsworth.
“The club have had some terrific players over the years, such as Beardsley and now Ritchie Humphreys.
“But this is a real star signing and one the fans will be very excited about.
“The chairman saw the merits in it from every point of view and it’s a great message to send out.
“We’ve got this terrific season ticket offer at the moment and what a great incentive this is to come and watch Pools next season.”