Stevenage new boy Dembele has a ‘lot of promise’, says Westley

PUBLISHED: 08:52 24 February 2014 | UPDATED: 08:52 24 February 2014

Bira Dembele of Stevenage

Bira Dembele of Stevenage

Archant

Former French U21 international counts Stade Rennais and Red Star 93 among his former clubs

Graham Westley says he believes new signing Bira Dembele will bring some ‘strong assets’ to Stevenage after the French U21 international joined last week on a free transfer.

The 6ft 3in centre-back watched from the bench alongside Boro’s other new signing, Craig Reid, on Saturday as Stevenage lost 1-0 at home to Peterborough United.

Speaking about his new acquisition, Westley said: “We’ve had Bira for the best part of a month overall from mid-season. We haven’t been able to afford to bring him in previously.

“He’s a player I’ve been dying to bring to the club. He’s a French U21 international, and you can see why.

“He’s got a lot of quality; he’s quick, very strong in the air and he can play the game. He’s got a lot of promise, and potentially he is going to be a very strong player for this football club.

“He’s played with some big players in some decent sides and he’s going to bring some assets to the football club.”

Stevenage lost Lucas Akins to injury at half-time at the weekend, while Filipe Morais and John Mousinho both missed the match through injury.

Westley says Stevenage needed to boost numbers ahead of a busy few weeks which will see the club play tomorrow night at home to Crewe Alexandra and then eight times in March.

“Lucas went off at half-time injured and Mousinho missed out injured from Tuesday,” Westley said after Saturday’s defeat.

“With it being a Tuesday-Saturday situation we needed to get a few more bodies in. We’re limited in what we can do, we’re having to get players in on very affordable loans and, like Reidy, out of contract and free and available. We can bring him in within very strict financial parameters.

“We’re not blessed in terms of what we can do, our options aren’t wide. We’re going to try and do one or two more bits just to try bolster the squad because [with games on] Tuesday-Saturday as we’ve seen players are going to pick up knocks and players are going to miss out because of that.

“With a thin squad anyway the last thing we need is to be down on numbers.”

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