BARNSLEY manager Keith Hill last night hailed the arrival of Manchester City midfielder Gai Assulin at Oakwell.
The former Barcelona prodigy is dropping out of the Premier League to spend the next six weeks on loan with the Tykes in the Championship.
Still only 20, Assulin has yet to play for City’s first team but was the youngest player to play for Israel when making his debut three years ago aged just 16 years 351 days.
He joined the Tykes on the eve of today’s 5pm deadline for emergency loan signings in the Football League and is the second new arrival in less than a week after Newcastle United striker Nile Ranger.
“It was important to get these two players in as we have a lot of games coming up in a short space of time,” said Hill.
“I’ve always known about Gai and was very impressed when he played for the Israel Under-21s against England at Oakwell in September.
“He’s a little bit different to what we have already got and can unlock doors,” Hill added. “He’s had a great up-bringing at Barcelona and Manchester City and is a talented football player who now wants to develop the next stage of his career.”
Assulin’s deal expires on January 3 and he is likely to make his debut in this weekend’s trip to Leeds United.
Sheffield Wednesday manager Gary Megson, meanwhile, has signed former Leeds loanee Sanchez Watt from Arsenal.
Megson moved for the striker yesterday after losing his team’s leading marksman, Gary Madine, for the next six weeks with a broken toe.
Watt, 20, will spend two months with the Owls who are currently third in the League One table and pushing for automatic promotion.
During his last spell in Yorkshire, Watt helped Leeds win promotion to the Championship.
He made a total of 32 appearances in a Leeds shirt and stayed on loan at Elland Road for the whole of last season.
Since returning to the Emirates Stadium, he has failed to impact on the first team but was an unused substitute in the Carling Cup against Shrewsbury Town.
A product of Arsenal’s youth academy, he is equally at home playing as a striker or a winger. He has played three times for the Gunners and represented England at Under-19 level.
Watt’s arrival completed a hat-trick of deals this week for the Owls.
Blackpool centre-back Miguel Llera and Newcastle United fullback James Tavernier had already joined the club and all three are likely to be involved in Saturday’s home game with Leyton Orient.