New signing Ben Whiteman has been backed to add some much needed physicality to the Doncaster Rovers midfield this season.
The technical skill of the Sheffield United midfielder may have marked him out as a typical ‘Darren Ferguson player.’
But the Rovers boss says the loanee will have a strong presence in the middle of the park during his time at the Keepmoat.
“Ben’s got a good size which is important and that’s the area of the pitch I need to get that bit more physicality in,” Ferguson told The Star.
“And we need players with real engines that are going to improve us.
“He’s got a very good engine and he scores goals.
“He’s very technically good as you’d expect coming from Manchester United as a kid. He had great schooling there as you’d expect.”
Whiteman’s six month loan switch from the Blades was confirmed yesterday.
Ferguson revealed the 21-year-old could have joined Rovers in January, before his eventual loan move to Mansfield Town.
“He came very close to joining us in January – very close,” Ferguson said.
“But I took the option of getting in Conor Grant instead.
“We’ve got it done now and it’s a really good signing.
“He’ll give us good flexbility in midfield.
“Ben was outstanding for Mansfield and I think he scored seven goals for them.
“Sheffield United as a club and Chris Wilder have been brilliant with us.
“They’ve got real high hopes for him so it’s a really good signing for us.
“I’m really looking forward to getting him in.”
Whiteman will join up with the Rovers squad on Monday for the first day of pre-season training.
Ferguson says while there will be plenty of hard work for his players next week, they will have footballs at their feet from the first day onwards.
He said: “It’ll just be back to work.
“It’ll be hard, it always is.
“But it’ll be ball work really before we go up to Scotland for the training camp.
“Then we’ve got a good variety of friendlies, great games at home and a tough one at Chesterfield to finish.”