VIDEO: Morecambe boss Jim Bentley speaks after signing Newcastle United loanee

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Morecambe have boosted their depleted defensive ranks with the six-month loan signing of Newcastle United’s Josef Yarney.

The centre-half, a graduate of Everton’s academy set-up, moved to Newcastle in the summer of 2017 and the 20-year-old has featured regularly throughout pre-season.

Morecambe loan signing Josef Yarney

Morecambe loan signing Josef Yarney

Yarney said: “I heard a couple of whispers about the opportunity to come here last week and then Newcastle signed a centre-half (Federico Fernandez) yesterday so that freed me up to come and get some experience.

“It’s great to be here. Hopefully I can help the team and get some games under my belt.”

Yarney’s arrival is a relief to Shrimps boss Jim Bentley, who had been trying to land a central defender all summer.

His options in the middle of the defence are limited with Steve Old and Sam Lavelle the club’s only out-and-out senior centre-halves.

That choice was further restricted when Lavelle picked up a pre-season leg injury, ruling him out until the middle of next month.

Bentley said: “We’ve struggled in the centre-half position and Josef coming in will help us in that area of the pitch.

“He’s had a good upbringing and has good pedigree.

“He’s a big strong lad who’s enthusiastic and determined to do well.

“Hopefully he does well for us and in turn we can help him reach his potential.

“We’d like to thank Newcastle United for loaning us Josef and we wish them all the best for the season.”