Blackpool chief executive Ben Mansford has said loaned in forward Owen Dale must return to full fitness before a permanent move from Crewe Alexandra is completed.

Over the course of the summer transfer window, Owen Dale was heavily linked with a move away from Crewe Alexandra, having become a star player at Gresty Road.

Eventually, it was Blackpool who secured a deal for the forward, though only on loan after a foot problem emerged during his medical.

Now, with Dale still struggling with the same foot issue, chief executive Ben Mansford has said the problem must be sorted before the Tangerines look to strike a permanent deal.

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As quoted by the Blackpool Gazette, Mansford admitted that the club didn’t feel “comfortable” doing a permanent deal after discovering the issue, but revealed his excitement at the prospect of Dale playing in a Blackpool shirt.

Here’s what he had to say:

“We told Crewe that if we were allowed to take Owen on loan, with everything documented for us to have the option to convert it to a permanent, then we’ll go off, understand Owen’s body, get him to a place where he’s fit to play for us and then consider the situation with everyone.

“Then we will work through the current loan with Crewe and Owen’s advisors, and hopefully get the right solution for everybody at the right time.

“Everything is done, everything is concluded, everything is agreed. It’s for us to understand Owen’s body and work out if it’s the right thing for Blackpool to do.”

Earning a crack at the Championship

The 22-year-old attacker’s performances for David Artell’s side in the 2020/21 campaign showed real signs of promise and ability, so it will be interesting to see how Dale fares in the second-tier, providing he gets the chance to feature.

He managed 12 goals and three assists in 48 outings last season, mainly featuring on the right-wing. Although, he has operated at centre-forward or on the left-wing before.

Competition for a starting spot

In his favoured role on the right, Dale will be competing with the likes of Keshi Anderson and Josh Bowler for a starting position.

It will be hoped that the competition brings the best out of everyone as Blackpool look to secure their Championship status this season.