Buckle hopeful of signing former Charlton defender

Hatters boss Paul Buckle is hopeful of agreeing a deal for former Charlton right back Yassin Moutaouakil, writes Mike Simmonds.

The 26-year-old Frenchman, who has represented his country five times at U21 level, started his career with Chateauroux, and made over 30 appearances, including one in the UEFA Cup.

He was snapped up by Charlton for a fee of around £400,000 in June 2007, but failed to settle at the Valley and was released in 2010.

Moutaouakil then moved to Hayes & Yeading and has made 11 starts in the Blue Square Bet South this season.

Speaking to the press this morning, Buckle said: “He’s been training with us for a bit and we’ll make a decision on that later today I think.

“I like him, I think we need some cover in the right back position. Alex Lawless has proved he can do well there when he’s come there during a game to push forward if we’re drawing or behind.

“But he’s not an out and out right back, this boy’s an out and out right back and he’s looked good in training. He’s short of match practice which we saw yesterday (in a behind closed doors friendly with Premier League Reading), but we’re hopeful he can do the job that we’re looking for.

“He’s got incredible pedigree, he’s a really good lad as well, so we’re hopeful something can be done today.

“We need some cover in and around right back. We’ve only got Ron (Ronnie Henry), okay we’ve got young Brett Longden, who’s doing fantastically well, but there are going to be some big games coming up and I don’t think it would be quite right to throw someone in.”

If and when Moutaouakil does sign, Buckle doesn’t expect that to be the end of his January shopping.

On his targets, he said: “Definitely a centre half still. Lathaniel (Rowe-Turner) has done a decent job, but he’s not six foot three.

“I’ve said for a while that I think this is what the league lends istelf too, especially in these sorts of conditions now.

“We need some strength and some power and we’ve only got (Simon) Ainge and Jan (Janos Kovacs) who are by trade centre halves so we’re quite short in that area.

“A wide area too, an out and out winger. We’ve only got (Scott) Neilson, so those are probably the areas.”

Buckle had hoped to have some new additions in place for the weekend, but confirmed that trying to lure players to Kenilworth Road whilst the club are in the Blue Square Bet Premier is proving tricky.

He added: “When you’re going for players who are playing for league clubs at the moment which is what we’re doing, it’s a big call for them to come out of the league and to non-league.

“That’s the problem I have trying to improve what we’ve got. I feel we’ve got to go for someone in League Two who’s not getting a game, or maybe League One, but it’s been frustrating.

“We’ve missed out on quite a few for whatever reason. We need to get more numbers in with all the games coming up. We’ve got to concentrate on that now in between the games, getting the right player in.”

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