TAREIQ Holmes-Dennis does not officially sign for the Pilgrims until next week, but expectations have preceded him to Home Park before he kicks a ball for the Pilgrims.Those expectations have less to do with the teenage defender’s already impressive track-record for one so young, and more to do with what happened to the previous loan player who played the position Tareiq is expected to contest during his season-long stay from Championship side Charlton Athletic.
Like Andy Kellett, England youth international Tareiq is a left-sided defender who likes to get forward; like Andy Kellett, Tareiq was recommended to Argyle manager John Sheridan by his brother Darren, the Pilgrims’ head scout; and the whole football world knows what happened to Andy Kellett this week.
“Darren watched him, like Andy Kellett,” said John. “He’s got pace about him; he’s young and very attack-minded. If we are going to play a 3-5-2, he will fit in that system. He can play left-back, left wing-back, and further up the pitch on the left side.
“He is a good addition. He’s similar to Andy Kellett – he’s comfortable on the ball; he plays simple when he has to; he’s got plenty of energy about him.
“He’s really positive in the way he plays, and he and Ben [Purrington] will be pushing for that place down the left-hand side; they are both young lads who are very willing and enthusiastic.”
When Andy Kellett’s career-path took a sudden diversion off the Plymouth road on transfer deadline-day and was re-routed to downtown Salford, John had no hesitation in moving for the youngster who played at Home Park as recently as December, when he was on loan at the Pilgrims’ Sky Bet League 2 rivals Oxford United.
“Andy was on his way here,” said John, about Monday’s almost incredible series of events, “but, when a club like [Manchester United], one of the biggest clubs in the world, comes in... Obviously Man United have seen something in him; he will never have a better opportunity – it’s a really good move. I wish him all the luck in the world.
“It was late when it happened, but we had to get a replacement and [Tareiq] is the one that came to mind.”
Tareiq had been recalled by Charlton from Oxford on the same day after the Us bolstered their squad by signing former Rotherham United player Joe Skarz and was snapped up on a youth loan which runs until May 2. That loan officially begins next Tuesday – when Argyle travel to high-flying Wycombe – although Tareiq is already acclimatising himself to life at Home Park.
“Charlton felt that he was too good to be on the [Oxford] bench,” said John. “We knew he was available. The lad’s said ‘I would like to train with you’ – he was straight in his car – but unfortunately we can’t get him for Saturday.
“Charlton have been very good with the way they have acted. I have brought him down to train with us and to get to know the new players. I think he will fit straight in. He’s trained and he will be involved in the game on Tuesday.”