Knuckle down time

Last updated : 08 July 2010 By Bladesmadeditor

2108268He was touted as one of the best up and coming talents in English football alongside Aaron Lennon at the Leeds United Academy years ago, but whilst Lennon has been hitting the heights at Spurs in the Premier League and has just returned from a World Cup campaign over 5,500 miles away, Walton has been fighting it out in League Two with Crewe Alexandra. He was on loan at Gresty Road last season and confessed that it 'put things into perspective.'

When the news arose that Kevin Blackwell, the Blades manager of course, was willing to give the 22-year-old, who has had an amazing 10 CLUBS in his short career, a final chance, he took no time to decide.

Blackie has informed Walton that if his season-long stint at Bramall Lane goes pearshaped, then that's frankly it for him in professional football. Speaking of the utility player, who has only made 13 appearances for parent club Plymouth Argyle, Kevin Blackwell said:

"He had the world at his feet but he has now been around the block, got carried away with things he shouldn't have done and his career has fallen away.

"But he is still young, everyone is human and makes mistakes and it is how you react to them that counts. I have told him that he has this last chance at a big club to get his career back on track.

"It will be a crying shame if he doesn't do that over the next couple of years, but if he does then we will be the beneficiaries.

"It is not so much of a gamble by me, Simon is the one who has to make it work and through talking to him he seems to have changed his outlook and is really up for the challenge.

"I know what potential is there, he can play, run all day, is comfortable on the ball and is more than capable of making the fans love him here.

"The pressure is on him to recapture that but if he gets it right we will have ourselves a very good player. I know his capabilities - he has to bring them out again - and getting him back to what he can be really does excite me."

Walton himself added: "It is an unbelievable opportunity considering where I was last season. To get this chance was too good to pass up and now I must make the most of it.

"The Gaffer has shown a lot of faith in me and I am delighted to have been given the chance to come to a club like this, given the stature and ambition, and I feel more than capable of playing at this level.

"Playing in League Two was a good kick up the backside and one I really needed. I am fully focused now on reaching the standards that have always been expected of me."

Plymouth Argyle have a potential recall clause in January, if they receive an offer for the player but United have an option to match any bid.

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