Defender rewarded with new three-year deal after excelling at first-team level.
David Artell believes that Luke Offord has most of the attributes already needed to be an excellent defender at a higher level. The former Academy signed a new three year deal with the club on Friday and he is still yet to turn 21.
Artell, a centre-half during his playing days as a professional with the likes of Rotherham, Crewe Alexandra, Mansfield, Shrewsbury and Northampton Town, believes that Offord’s main strength is his football brain and positional intelligence.
Speaking of Offord after he signed his new deal with the club, Artell said: “To be a defender at a higher level, you have to be consistent and mistake free and in the 20 plus games Luke has played at first team level, he has been that.
“To be in the Championship as a stereo-typical centre-half, you have to be 6’4” and physically imposing. Luke isn’t that. He is 6’ 1”, so he has to use his brain more. He has to position himself not to get exposed and use his intelligence and guile to take possession from the centre-forward. He is excellent at that if he comes up against someone who is physically more developed than he is.
“He did that up against Clarke-Harris on Saturday and didn’t really give him a kick. It was the same when we played Blackpool and he was up against Gary Madine.
"Luke uses his body really well, is no shrinking violet and is probably better on the ball already than most Championship centre-halves.
The boss added: “He knows how to defend properly and his performances warrant his new contract.”