Rochdale defender Luke Matheson is being linked with a number of Premier League clubs with Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle all thought to be monitoring the 17-year-old, who has been tipped to have a big future.
Matheson made his senior debut for Rochdale at the age of just 15 when they faced Bury in the EFL Trophy, at the time becoming their youngest ever debutant. He was awarded the Man of Match award that night in what was an impressive display for his age.
Since his opening appearance, the youngster has gone to make 15 league appearances for Dale as he is now a regular in Brian Barry-Murphy’s team. The right-back enjoys driving forward, therefore, he is often involved in attacking plays his side produce.
The highlight of Matheson’s career so far came earlier this season in the Carabao Cup when he scored at Old Trafford against Manchester United to level the game at 1-1. Unfortunately for his side, they eventually lost on penalties to miss out on the giant-killing that night, however, all the headlines were about the ‘Rochdale wonderkid’ the next day.
Matheson recently signed his first professional contract with Rochdale in a three-year-deal. He is another product of the academy at the Greater Manchester club who have produced so many players who have gone on to play at a higher level. He has been at the club since the age of nine, so he is a real success story for their youth system.
Back in February, Matheson was called up into the England under-17 squad to face France where he started in the Three Lions’ 3-2 victory. He recently represented his country at an under-18 level too in games against Poland and Slovakia, the latter who they beat 1-0 on the road, so he is a player who is clearly rated by those who monitor young English players in this country.
Rochdale have made a mixed start to their League One campaign this season where they are 50/1 in the football betting to finish in the top six at the end of the 2018/19 campaign. Matheson is expected to continue to play lots of football as manager Barry-Murphy is not afraid to give the young players in his squad an opportunity to shine.
Higher hopes for Dale
Dale was in a relegation scrap last season but managed to survive with a late surge up the table at the end of the campaign. They are expected to finish much higher this season and still have hopes of finishing in the top six.
Newcastle has reportedly been scouting Matheson since January where they were initially impressed with his talent. Given his goal at Old Trafford though back in September, the two Manchester giants are also thought to now be interested in keeping him in the North West.
If a move for Matheson is made in either the January transfer window or next summer, he could be immediately loaned back to Rochdale in order to continue playing League One football which will help his progression at such a young age.
Bolton Wanderers have improved massively since Keith Hill took over. However, the hard work seemed to take a step back as they lost to Rochdale 3-1 this weekend. The Football Manc Cave looks at your reactions.
Bolton fans have been saying that their first win is ‘just around the corner.’ Most thought that 3 points might have come this weekend.
However, an eventful second half meant the Wanderers lost not only their lead on the game but also the match itself.
It stayed 0-0 until half time which looked promising for both teams. Joe Dodoo and Thibaud Verlinden teamed up for the Trotters opening goal of the game.
Callum Camps, Oliver Rathbone and Fabio Tavares then proved to be too much for Keith Hills side. All three found the back of the net.
Even though Bolton were disappointed, this is a great win for Dale. Here’s your reactions to the game…
Brian Barry-Murphy’s side faces Bolton Wanderers this weekend. While both sides will be looking for a win, Rochdale will need these two players to help them succeed.
The interesting thing about this clash is that this is the third time they have met this season. However, this is the first League game.
The other two have been cup games. A young Bolton team faced Dale early on and lost 5-2. They then met again with a more solid and experienced team. It ended in a 1-1 draw with ex Bolton man Aaron Wilbraham scoring Dales equaliser.
Both sides will be scrapping for every decision, goals and points so it will be an interesting game. However, here’s two players Rochdale need in their squad…
It goes without saying that this man has been Rochdale’s saviour so far this season. He’s scored multiple goals in games recently and will be hungry for more.
Henderson scored both Dale goals against Accrington Stanley. He also did the same against AFC Wimbledon.
As a Bolton fan, I hope he doesn’t do it against us this weekend. Rochdale fans, on the other hand, will be praying that he does.
Aaron is a Bolton Wanderers legend. He scored the goal that kept us up against Nottingham Forest.
However, the last time these two sides met, as mentioned before, he scored Dale’s equaliser.
This is why it could be tactical for BBM to start him. He’s been out for some time but now that he’s back and ready to score, he could contribute to taking all 3 points from Bolton.
This weekend saw Rochdale take a much needed 3 points from Accrington Stanley.
Rochdale haven’t been on form recently. Losses have taken them down League One instead of up. Fans have been getting frustrated and a win was needed.
Brian Barry-Murphy’s side was home to Accrington Stanley this week. Ian Henderson delighted fans with two goals in the 40th and 49th minute. Accrington Stanley did respond getting one back, however, it wasn’t enough.
All three points went to Dale which has taken them up to 17th in the league. Ian Henderson got himself a brilliant goal and his performance got him into League One Team Of The Week.
Now fans have an expectation and hope standards don’t slip.
Rochdale have recruited defender, Paul McShane. Brian Barry-Murphy has spoken on how signing the 33-year-old was something he couldn’t turn down. The Football Manc Cave look at what he will bring to BBM’s side.
The Republic of Ireland international has joined Dale on a short term plan through till January. His experience is something that Brian Barry-Murphy was after.
BBM has also said that it has been a difficult period for him. This comes after injuries that have been picked up throughout his squad. However, 17-year-old Luke Matheson has stepped up in recent weeks.
The teenager even bagged a goal against Manchester United. Now it’s time for a refreshing player like McShane to come in and lead the backline.
In his first interview with the side, he spoke on how he won’t be afraid to be vocal. He knows he has to lead by example and has admitted that he is a bit of a shouter at times.
The ex Reading player wants to give Rochdale everything he’s got and play as much football as he can. Hopefully, he will be an effective tool that transforms Dale’s style of play.
Brian Barry-Murphy is also excited by the fact that the 33-year-old is in great shape. Not just physically but also mentally too. McShane also carries himself in a way that befits a top-level footballer according to the Dale boss.
This is something that he is hoping will have an impact on other players. The Dale boss thought he owed it to the squad to bring someone like that in.
As already mentioned, McShane has been around. He started off at Manchester United but then had spells at West Brom, Sunderland, Hull and Crystal Palace.
Over the course of his career, he has picked up skill, strength and determination. This is something Rochdale needs. His qualities could also rub off on other squad members. However, when January comes and the contract is up, recruitment will be key.
Rochdale haven’t been on top form in recent games. The Football Manc Cave are looking at two players who need to step up to get the team back to winning ways.
When Brian Barry-Murphy took over as Rochdale manager, some fans had doubts. He managed to prove people wrong early on this season as he got some good results.
However, things haven’t been as good recently. They have managed to slip down to 19th in League One. This has come after a series of losses but I believe Barry-Murphy can turn this around.
He’ll need some players to step up if this is to happen. Here’s two who could turn Rochdale’s form around if they work hard and stay focused…
McShane has only just signed for Dale but has admitted that he wants to be a part of something special. He thinks Brian Barry-Murphy makes the Rochdale team just that.
The defender has signed a short deal until January. Even though it’s not a long-time period, he is eager to make a difference. By his own admission, he is not afraid to be loud and try to lead the defence. This is something that could help the rest of the backline and stop goals being conceded.
The 39-year-old is a player who fans enjoy watching. It’s just a shame that he’s only just come back from injury. He arrived at Rochdale on a free transfer from Bolton Wanderers.
Wilbraham is now fit again and getting starts. However, it will take a little bit of warming up to ease him back into the game. Especially League One football. When he is ready, he will be a key player for Brian Barry-Murphy. That is if he can stay clear of injury.
There are other players that could be mentioned. For example, Ian Henderson. He has produced much-needed goals for the Dale recently. However, this pick of players is just a couple who could raise the bar a little for the struggling Rochdale side.