Tranmere Rovers has announced the signing, on an 18-month deal, of pacy striker Harvey Saunders from Bristol Rovers for an undisclosed fee.
25-year-old Saunders became a pro footballer the hard way, initially playing in the Sunday League while working full-time, but progressed to join Darlington in the National League North, where he caught the eye of EFL scouts, signing a two-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee with League 1 Fleetwood, aged 21.
After an initial loan period back at Darlington, he made 41 appearances for Fleetwood across all competitions (27 in the League), scoring 8 goals.
His time at Fleetwood under Joey Barton impressed the manager sufficiently for him to take him to the Gas in the summer of 2021. Since then, Saunders has found himself primarily being used as a substitute behind some more experienced strikers and has notched up 5 goals in 43 appearances across all competitions.
Saunders becomes Rovers’ third signing of the January transfer window after Brad Walker and Logan Chalmers arrived at Prenton Park earlier in the window.
Micky Mellon said, “We have said our approach to recruitment this year is to attract young players with potential for development, who can become assets for the club. Harvey was a slightly late starter having not come through the traditional academy route, but has a goal ratio of a goal every 202 minutes on the pitch for Bristol Rovers, which is very respectable. Players can sometimes get a bit lost in a club if they are not regular starters, a bit like Josh Dacres-Cogley found at Birmingham City. We believe he will develop from having more game time at Tranmere, as Josh has done.
“We had tried to secure Harvey from Bristol Rovers in the summer but they were unable to release him then, so I am delighted to have got this across the line now.
“This season we have been strong in many areas, including in creating chances, but we have been lacking in the final third and we believe that Harvey can help us address that.”
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