How Devante Cole came onto Doncaster Rovers’ radar and where Darren Moore sees his new signing playing

Darren Moore had almost given up hope of signing striker Devante Cole before the transfer window had even opened.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 7:39 pm

The Doncaster Rovers boss had his eye on the 24-year-old from fairly early in his tenure at the club and finally got his man earlier this week.

Moore admits he fully expected Cole to remain with Motherwell in the SPFL where he had spent the first half of the season on loan.

But a surprisingly positive conversation with his parent club Wigan Athletic began a chain of events which led to the forward’s permanent switch to the Keepmoat.

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Devante Cole on his Rovers debut

“He’s been on the radar for a little while,” Moore told the Free Press.

“With him coming out of Motherwell, it gave us a little opportunity because we thought he was going to be staying on.

“I was asking the question and eventually he was made available. Once he was made available, we wanted to pursue that.

“I enquired when he was at Motherwell and it was a no.

“When he got made available, our thoughts switched to him so it’s been a good three weeks now of chasing, trying, probing, asking questions and keep going back and forth.

“I’m just pleased both clubs came together and we see him here.

“He just wants to get playing football and we want to give him the opportunity to do that and integrate him into a system and give him that level of understanding that others have got.”

Cole made his Rovers debut off the bench in Tuesday night’s win over Southend United.

Moore’s homework on potential targets is extensive and was no different when it came to Cole, the son of ex-Manchester United striker Andrew.

And he received glowing testimonials about the former Manchester City trainee.

“He’s got a great character, great man, a man of few words, very quiet,” Moore said.

“An affectionate smile too, which he has got, I can say it’s true because I’ve seen it.

“But as a player he’s someone with great speed, great athleticism, someone who is good with the ball at his feet.

“He’s capable of dropping his shoulder and beating someone. He’s very quick with his footwork and he’s got good dynamic movement off players and defenders.

“If he can do those movements I think we’ve got the players who can feed him the type of balls that he will have a lot of joy in working with.

“That is where I think for him and us both, we’ll fit.”

Having played as both a winger and a central striker during his career so far, Cole comes with versatility.

And Moore is looking to exploit that, rather than pigeonholing him into one specific role.

He said: “It’s wonderful for us to have that versatility in a striker that can play as a 9, that can play as a 7 or 11. It’s nice to have that.

“Certainly with us he’ll have the option to play in all those. It’s great for us to have that dimension up top.

“The messages have got to be clear for him here, that if he is going to play in any one of those positions, he must know what is expected of him. He will know.”

Cole signed an initial six month contract with the option of extending it beyond the end of the current campaign.

“It works for us and Devante and it’s one that can be longer for the player and the club,” Moore said.

“Initially, let’s get him going on the pitch and doing what he does best.”