Steven Schumacher

Schumacher on Whittaker's Return

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Six months after Morgan Whittaker was recalled by Swansea to curtail a stunning Home Park loan spell, Argyle manager Steven Schumacher was able to secure the permanent signing of the 22-year-old attacker this week.

The Pilgrims shelled out a club record fee for Whittaker, who spoke on Monday of his joy at returning to Devon.

That joy is mirrored by his manager, who spoke to Argyle TV following a 1-1 draw against Torquay United on Tuesday night, during which Whittaker reminded the Green Army of his quality with a peach of a volley to notch Argyle’s goal.

“Morgan was brilliant for us last season,” said Schumacher. “We were gutted when he left in January. We’ve got a good relationship, so we kept in touch with him over the summer and [spoke to his] agent early on saying ‘is there a possibility of us signing him permanently and bringing him back to the club?’

“We’ve all worked so hard behind the scenes to make it happen and we are delighted that he is here.

“Morgan really enjoyed his time here. He found a place where he knew what the manager wanted from him, he knew that the system that we play and the football that we play suits him, and it gives him the confidence to go out and express himself in every game.

“From his side, it made sense to come back into that environment, and from our side we are getting a top, top quality player. We’re going to need that, going into the Championship, and that is why we have worked so hard and spent the money that we’ve spent to bring him back to the club.

“[The financial backing] doesn’t go unnoticed. We thank Simon [Hallett, chairman] and Andrew [Parkinson, CEO] for allowing this deal to happen. If we didn’t get investment from Simon then it is just not possible. We are really grateful for that.

“They also know that we are going into a really tough league and we need some players who can handle that. We think Morgan can play in this division – and probably above – so it’s over to him. Hopefully we get one or two others in to contribute the quality that we desperately need.”

Whittaker’s goal at Plainmoor was typical of the man who scored nine times in his half a season as a Pilgrim. As a corner was partly cleared, Morgan watched the back fall to a nice height before controlling a powerful volley through and crowd and beyond a stunned goalkeeper.

The goal was scored at the end nearest to over 1,400 members of the Green Army who had traversed Devon for the fixture. They had cheered his name when hearing it in the reading of the night’s teams, and their joy raised another level at seeing his sumptuous strike.

“Once again, he showed what he is all about,” said Schumacher. “I thought all of his touches were really good. That’s his third 45 minutes – he had two for Swansea – so he is fit, he’s sharp. Getting him on the pitch for 45 minutes was important.

“When he received the ball in the first half, he set up two chances. Caleb Roberts should have scored from one of his passes, and he put Callum Wright through as well. We know what he is all about. He is going to enjoy it coming back into this team, and he’s going to be a big part of it.”

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