What happened to ex-Sunderland starlet Louis Laing? Lowdown on Hartlepool's new signing

Louis Laing
Louis Laing
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Former Sunderland Academy star Louis Laing is back in the region after signing for Hartlepool United.

The 24-year-old joins Pools on a free transfer after spells at Motherwell, Notts County and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Having been highly-rated at Sunderland as a youngster, Laing will be hoping a return to the North East will further enhance his career. Here's the lowdown on what happened to him since leaving Sunderland.

Nott a good move?

When Laing decided to leave Sunderland in 2014, there was a number of clubs interested in him, including Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United. However, he decided to join Nottingham Forest on a 12-month contract. Laing was quickly farmed out on loan to neighbours Notts County and did enough there to secure another loan move, this time to SPL side Motherwell where he also impressed. At the end of the season, his contract at Forest wasn't extended.

All's not 'Well

Laing returned to Motherwell in June 2015, signing a two-year deal with the Premiership outfit. He made 16 appearances in the first team in his first season before losing his place after manager Ian Barraclough was sacked and Mark McGhee took over. At one point, Laing even admitted he had considered quitting the game. However, he rejoined Notts County on loan at the start of the last campaign. After a spell there, Laing's contract at Motherwell was cancelled in January, six months ahead of schedule.

Back to Scotland

In February, Laing joined SPL side Inverness Caledonian Thistle on a free transfer, where he played 14 times, helping the strugglers to four wins including victory over Rangers and his old club Motherwell. However, he was unable to save them from relegation.

In demand again

After the success of last season, where Laing played 41 times for both Notts County and Caley Thistle, a number of clubs were interested in his services as a free agent. Inverness were keen on getting him to stay, while Scottish Premiership and League One clubs were also linked with the defender. However, Pools have won the race for the defender who has signed a 12-month deal at Victoria Park.