'Impressive coup' - insight into Chesterfield's new signing from Bristol Rovers

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Defender Lewis Gordon has become Chesterfield’s fourth summer signing.

To find out more about the left-back, we spoke to journalist Dan Hargraves, who covers Bristol Rovers for the Bristol Post, to see what type of player the Spireites are getting.

How would you describe him as a player? Strengths and weaknesses?

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Gordon’s game is very much one-v-one. Defensively he’s shown plenty of quality and isn’t afraid to get stuck in but his attacking play has never been quite where it needs to be. I think part of that was to do with confidence because whenever he got himself to the halfway line, he would be known to pass backwards or sideways. To improve as a modern day full-back he needs to find a bit more of a balance but he’s still got a high ceiling at 23.

Lewis Gordon has signed for Chesterfield. Picture: Tina Jenner.Lewis Gordon has signed for Chesterfield. Picture: Tina Jenner.
Lewis Gordon has signed for Chesterfield. Picture: Tina Jenner.

Why was he released?

It’s probably a question better suited for Matt Taylor but ultimately the left-back didn’t do enough to impress the new manager since his arrival in December. Consistency evaded most Bristol Rovers players last season and it was particularly the case for Gordon who had flashes of brilliance in certain games but could really go missing in others. It has left Rovers without a recognised left-back though.

What was the reaction from the fans to him being let go?

Out of all seven players released, his departure was probably the biggest surprise. As I said before, Gordon had shown flashes of brilliance but it became increasingly clear that he wouldn’t be given the opportunity to start the next campaign as first-choice so fans accepted the decision. He was a popular character at the club and every Gashead will be wishing him the very best.

What have Rovers managers Joey Barton and Matt Taylor said about him in the past?

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A lot of it has come down to his potential given his age but neither manager seemingly trusted the left-back to go on and be their first-choice starter. Barton gave Gordon the chance to prove himself in an EFL Trophy game in September, along with a number of other fringe players, and said post-match that none had done anything to suggest they deserve to play regularly.

As for Taylor, it didn’t help that Gordon got injured in his first game in charge but once he returned, he never really stood out. In his post-season interview, the manager admitted that he wasn’t able to give him the game Gordon would have wanted or deserved, mainly because of the performances of Chelsea loanee Harvey Vale, and so the decision to release him was made so that he can go and play regularly elsewhere.

Do you think he will be okay at League Two level?

Certainly. He’s shown that he can play at League One level but just never had the opportunity to play consistently for Rovers. For a newly-promoted League Two side to pick Gordon up is an impressive coup and, if given the chance to play regularly and be Chesterfield’s established left-back, then I think it could be exactly what he needs at this stage of his career.

Do you know much about his character/personality?

He was in the away end at Bolton with Gasheads in December which certainly boosted his reputation! A lovely guy whenever we’ve had the chance to interview him and someone who is determined to have a career in the game. I really hope this move works out for him.

Do you think he has the potential to develop further?

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It would be wrong to say that any footballer at any level has reached their maximum level at 23. For Gordon, he will see this as a good opportunity to get regular game time which he hasn’t really had yet in senior football having come through the youth system at Brentford. The aim will also be to get back into League One as soon as possible and if that ends up being with Chesterfield then it’s a great move for both parties.

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