Joey Barton reacts after Fleetwood pip Sunderland to the signing of Leeds United youngster

Joey Barton has hailed Lewie Coyle ‘enormous potential’ after Fleetwood Town saw off a host of competition to land the in-demand Leeds United full-back.

Joey Barton
Joey Barton

Coyle was linked with a move to Sunderland but, despite a host of League One and Championship interest in his services, he opted to join the Cod Army – with whom he spent the first half of the season on loan.

And former Newcastle United midfielder Barton was delighted to see Coyle agree a three and a half year deal at Highbury, and revealed why he opted for Fleetwood over other options.

“We are delighted to sign Lewie on a permanent basis,” said Barton.

“He has developed so much as a player and we see enormous potential in him.

“He has gone from a good defender to a very good attacking full-back, whose game intelligence has grown game by game.

“There were a number of clubs interested in him because he has been doing so well, but he’s decided that this is the place he is going to improve.

“He’s a fantastic member of our team who embodies the culture that is emerging at Fleetwood Town.”

The Sun claimed that Coyle was one of the names being considered by Phil Parkinson as he looks to bolster his defensive ranks.

Laurens De Bock’s return to Leeds has left the Black Cats light at the back, and a full-back is believed to be one of Parkinson’s key targets this month.