New boy Poleon could be special - Johnson

Date published: 03 September 2014

DOMINIC Poleon took a pay cut to make his move to Athletic, it has been revealed — and the club believe they have a serious bargain on their hands.

The 20-year-old forward, who was introduced to the crowd at half time in last night’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win over Bradford, is set to make his debut against Fleetwood at Park on Saturday.

Johnson says Poleon has the potential to rise to the level of £5million Nottingham Forest striker Britt Assombalonga in as little as 12 months.

“I’m really pleased with the business we have done with Dominic Poleon and credit to the chairman for that,” said Johnson, speaking after the 1-0 win gained thanks to Jordan Bove's late goal.

“We would probably still have gone for him had Jonson Clarke-Harris stayed here. Credit to the player; he could have sat at Leeds on more money. And fair play to Leeds for not standing in his way.

“We believe this boy could be special. He is young and has had hardly any games. He’ll take a lot of time to get going, but this time next year we could have the equivalent of a Britt Assombalonga.”

Poleon has signed a two-year deal and could start either on the wing or up front in the league clash against Fleetwood.

Johnson says he is still searching for a target man up front, and admitted Sheffield United’s

former Athletic man Chris Porter could be a possibility to return, if available.

One other option is free agent Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, the former Manchester United and Wolves man who hasn’t played since leaving Ipswich at the end of last season.

“He is free and available and asked if he wanted to come in for a bit of training. He is thinking about it,” Johnson revealed. “We will see, but I wouldn't hang hopes on it.”

As for the imminent first-team prospects of last night’s goal hero Bove, Johnson was staying cautious.

“We have got Rhys Turner and Jordan and we will have to dip them in and out.

“They were both poor in the reserves the other day. We were a bit light here and that it what they have to do, take their chances.”