Nathaneal Ogbeta deal was a long time coming at Shrewsbury Town

Assistant boss Aaron Wilbraham hailed Shrewsbury Town’s head of recruitment Keith Burt for his role in bringing starlet Nathanael Ogbeta to the club on a permanent deal.

Nathanael Ogbeta of Shrewsbury Town celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 3-0. (AMA)
Nathanael Ogbeta of Shrewsbury Town celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 3-0. (AMA)

Teenage sensation Ogbeta has been a revelation since checking in as a relatively unknown youngster from Manchester City towards the end of the January transfer window.

The 19-year-old has shone from left-wing-back and has started to add goals and assists to his game with a couple of each in recent weeks.

It was manager Steve Cotterill’s close ally Burt – with whom he worked at Bristol City – who unearthed the Manchester-born Etihad Stadium prodigy. And once Wilbraham completed his homework in seeking advice from City loans manager and former Wolves, Albion and Villa defender Joleon Lescott, Town were left with no doubt but to pursue a deal.

“He’s got a great attitude, he’ll have to keep working as hard as he does, coming in wanting to learn more,” Wilbraham said of Ogbeta, who was a January replacement for Charlie Daniels, who left for Portsmouth. “It’s a testament to Keith Burt in spotting him.

“Keith phoned me about him months before he came and I spoke to Joleon Lescott about him, we did our homework, and everybody had positive things to say.

“It was a great addition by Keith Burt to get him signed personally, and not just on loan is great from the club’s point of view.

“He’s producing and has to keep working hard and got to take it into the rest of the season and next season as well.

“Keith and the gaffer have worked together so long, some of the players they brought to the club are now playing in the Premier League, Luke Ayling, Bobby Reid, Joe Bryan, the list goes on.

“They work really well together and can definitely spot a player.” Burt, who came to Salop from Cambridge, will have a hand in all of Cotterill’s transfer dealings at Shrewsbury. The pair are in touch almost daily and will be working closely as the manager prepares significant summer business.

Ogbeta’s humbleness and humility has won him several fans at his new club. The teenager, who has played for England’s under-20s, has made it clear how grateful he is to be offered a chance by Shrewsbury.

The left-sider is living with his aunt and uncle in Shrewsbury, with the latter recently becoming a doctor at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital having moved from Nigeria.

Wilbraham added: “Credit to Nathanael, to come in and keep churning out game after game, training session after training session, no moans and groans, just gets on with it.

“He’s always got a smile on his face and has been unbelievable.”

Ogbeta netted his second Shrewsbury and senior goal in Monday’s dominant 3-0 win over Plymouth. Both goals have been with his weaker right foot from outside the penalty area, after the flyer was denied a first goal against Hull, where his bullet free-kick unfortunately went down as an own goal.

“He’s such a laid-back kind of guy as well, but he’s learned the position really well,” Wilbraham said of the young star. “He’s settled in really well, he’s a likeable lad and all the lads want to see him doing well, it’s great to see him doing well.

“But he knows, even though he hasn’t met the manager yet, the standards he needs to keep because he’s heard the manager speak and spoke with him.

“We are always pushing for him to do better because he wants to and we want to make him better and that kind of star that you are talking about.”

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