Boss explains why his commitment to youth resulted in Coulibaly signing for Peterborough in the summer.
Steve Davis has revealed that he may well have looked to have signed the Ivory Coast Youth International Souleymane Coulibaly if he didn’t have his own emerging youngsters. The Alex boss liked the look of the former Tottenham youngster when he joined us at the beginning of pre-season. The 20-year-old notched three goals in two pre-season games against Congleton and Alsager but Davis admitted that he needed a bit more time to assess his potential if he was going to bring him in ahead of his own kids.
Davis chose not to offer Coulibaly a permanent deal and he quickly moved onto Peterborough, earning himself a one-year contract after impressing in another pre-season game for the Posh.
The Crewe Alexandra boss felt it was only fair to give his own young forwards such as Callum Saunders, George Cooper, Andre Brown and the fit-again Fraser Murdoch the chance to show their own potential ahead of another 20-year-old. Saunders for one would have seen another obstacle in front of him, as he aimed to secure a regular place in the starting XI.
Steve revealed to crewealex.net: “I liked Souleymane when we had him here and there was never any doubt that he could be good enough for the level.
“I took him in as a favour at first. He wanted to come somewhere to get fit because it had not gone as well as he would have wanted over in Italy. I took him for pre-season to allow him to get fit and to have a look at him because of what he had achieved as a young player.
“He was the star of the Youth World Cup with Ivory Coast and Tottenham signed him ahead of a lot of other interested clubs, so we knew he had great potential.
“He played a couple of games in pre-season and was getting himself match sharp and then we were told that we had make our mind up. From being with us for most of pre-season, it all changed over the space of a weekend and with our own young players we couldn’t do it at that moment. It wasn’t fair on them. They needed to have their chance as well because that is what this club does.
“Perhaps if I had been at another club with a lot more resources, like Peterborough then I would have signed him. We have a commitment to our youth here and that made it a little more difficult.
“He did well for Peterborough in some pre-season games and they signed him and I wasn’t surprised because he certainly had something to work with. “