Date: 2nd March 2011 at 5:01pm
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Former Alex youngster Ben Marshall should be playing in the Premiership next season, according to Carlisle United boss Greg Abbott.

The 19 year old winger is currently on loan at Carlisle from Stoke City after departing the Alex two years ago.

Marshall signed for Stoke, along with fellow Alex academy team mate Matt Lund, soon after former Alex manager Steve Holland (now Chelsea reserve team manager) took the reigns at Stoke’s academy.

Despite Dario firmly believing both would play in the Alex’s first team, the lack of support towards youngsters shown by then manager Gudjon Thordarson caused somewhat of a upset throughout the academy with Marshall and Lund eventually turning down professional deals at the club.

Marshall has since had loan spells at Northampton and Cheltenham and is currently in his second spell at League One side Carlisle.

The Salford-born youngster last night netted his fourth goal for Carlisle as the Cumbrians brushed aside Charlton Athletic with a 3-1 win.

Carlisle boss Greg Abbott couldn’t hide his delight over Marshall post-match and believes his future lies in the Premier League with Stoke City.

Abbott said:‘Ben Marshall was absolutely outstanding.

‘I have told Tony Pulis my thoughts on Ben. I don’t think he needs to go Championship-loan next season.

‘I would be recommending to Tony that they have a real serious look at him because he possibly could be a Premier League player next season.’


Which goes to show just the impact Thordarson had on the club in less than 12 months. We may have got off lightly with just losing Marshall and Lund, with reports at the time suggesting the likes of Nick Powell and Max Clayton were ready to jump ship also.

Nevertheless, it should probably never have been allowed to get to the stage where youngsters felt the need to leave. If Marshall goes on to play in the Premiership it will be a clear case of a big transfer fee lost, with the tribunal settlement never coming close to the true value of such players.

The cost of Gudjon’s appointment looks like it will continue to grow for a few years!