JOE Mason was finally nailed down as a Wanderers player yesterday – with Dougie Freedman promising fans he’ll be worth the wait.
The Cardiff City striker arrives on a 50-day loan, having already spent 43 days with the Whites earlier in the season.
On that occasion, the 22-year-old failed to build fully on an encouraging start and a goal against Doncaster Rovers on his home debut.
But Freedman feels that having waited patiently for a second chance to work with the Ireland Under-21 international, he has plenty more to offer.
“He is a terrific finisher and he will help us get some more goals,” he said. “There is much more to come from him. But I had seen enough to know there is huge potential there. He just needs some game time.
“He wants to improve so it is a really good signing. Without putting too much pressure on him there is a lot more to come which will come naturally through games.
“I have already seen what he can do for the team.”
Mason was poised to rejoin Wanderers in January but had to put the move on hold for personal reasons.
He also came close to leaving Cardiff on a permanent basis, with Bournemouth and Brighton both vying for his services – but once those moves fell though, Freedman knew it would be only a matter of time before he was able to bring him back to the club.
As a result, Craig Davies was allowed to join Preston North End on loan – a decision that proved controversial with Whites fans, but that Freedman hopes will now be rewarded with goals in Mason’s second spell at the Reebok.
“We are very lucky to have him back,” he said. “When Craig Davies went to Preston I had Joe up my sleeve but I couldn't express that.
“Craig wanted to play every week and I couldn't guarantee that. Preston came in to take him on loan and I can use that money on Joe.
“I am a big believer in waiting for the players you want. Craig has got his games every week but he will be back with us.
“I couldn't guarantee him week in week out and he is the sort of lad who wants that.”