Shropshire Star

Inside track: Everything you need to know about new Shrewsbury signing Aaron Pierre

Shrewsbury this week sealed the signing of Northampton defender Aaron Pierre. Jeremy Casey from the Northampton Chronicle & Echo gives us his insight on the player

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Pierre is highly rated from his time with Northampton and Wycombe, does he deserve that reputation?

JC: Definitely deserves it, certainly at League Two level. Was one of the Cobblers’ standout performers last season in a team that struggled for any sort of consistency.

As is usually the case with a team that is struggling for form for long spells, the defence is usually under pressure and Pierre more often than not thrived on that situation.

He began the season as a sort of understudy to Ash Taylor, who had been player of the year the previous season, but by midway through the campaign he was the leader in defence, having been made captain by Keith Curle instead of Taylor.

He only played a bit-part when Northampton were relegated from League One? Could he have done better or is that unfair?

JC: His season in League One was curtailed by a serious groin injury suffered at the end of December.

He had started the season nervously after his move from Wycombe, but again the team had endured a poor start to the campaign, with the man who signed him, Justin Edinburgh, being sacked before the end of August.

Pierre had just begun to really establish himself at the heart of the defence under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink when he suffered the injury in a draw with Blackburn Rovers just before Christmas, and he didn’t feature again.

He was fit for the last couple of weeks of the season, but the decision was taken that it wasn’t worth risking him.

He was clearly a big hit at Sixfields as captain and fans’ player of season, he must have had a good time last term?

He did become a fans’ favourite, winning the player of the year award. He was always whole-hearted, gave everything he had, and took responsibility for the rare errors he may have made, rather than shift any blame.

That always goes down well with supporters.

What kind of centre-back is he? All about being strong and dominant?

JC: He is a player where it is all about his power, as he is a big and imposing unit.

He is strong in the air, strong in the tackle and is rarely caught out of position. He does make the odd mistake, but they are rare, and on the whole he was very reliable last season.

He is always keen to get forward if and when he can, and is not afraid to run out from the back with the ball.

Pierre is a real threat from set-pieces, both in the air and from the deck from any second ball, and he produced a couple of high quality finishes with his feet last season.

Sam Ricketts plays three centre-backs with wing-backs. Did he play he play in a usual back four for Cobblers? Should we expect to Pierre to slot in on left side of that?

JC: Pierre played in a back three and in a flat back four last season, with Keith Curle not shy when it came to chopping and changing systems.

He is left footed, and played both as the central player in the back three and as the left-sided defender. He was more comfortable on the left side.

As I said earlier, he is always keen to bring the ball out from the back, but he is not always the most controlled when doing this.

That said, he is certainly capable of switching play by pinging a pinpoint long ball from the left-back slot to the opposite wing.

What is his personality like? Was he popular around the dressing room/club?

JC: Pierre was a popular figure around the club, but he is a fairly quiet character. As a leader, he led by example rather than by geeing up the troops.