Boss John Gregory believes his rebuilding job at Crawley is almost complete after signing goalkeeper Raphael Spiegel on loan.
Spiegel has joined for an initial 28-day period from West Ham to challenge Brian Jensen for the No.1 shirt at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
The 21-year-old has represented Switzerland at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level but has yet to force his way into the first team at Upton Park.
Spiegel will make his Crawley debut in today’s home friendly against Fulham and Gregory is confident he will push Jensen hard for the starting spot when the season kicks off in earnest next month.
Gregory said: “ He is 6ft 5in so he’s got a presence. He’s a current under-21 international so he’s a very good goalkeeper.
“He has a lot of potential but is a bit down the order at West Ham. I know Big Sam (Allardyce, West Ham manager) is a fan of his but because he’s got a few other goalkeepers in front of him he is unlikely to get a game.
“That means it’s a good opportunity to come here and play under pressure. Whether he starts is down to him and Brian Jensen to fight it out between them.
“But I would have no hesitation in throwing him into the team if Brian doesn’t start for whatever reason.”
Spiegel began his career at Swiss top- flight side Grasshopper but never made a first team appearance.
He had a spell on loan at third tier outfit SC Bruhl before signing for the Hammers for an undisclosed fee in June 2012.
Spiegel is the 13th signing Gregory has made over the summer as he completely remodels his squad and the Reds boss is happy with the way things are shaping up.
Gregory added: “There are still a couple of areas that I want to strengthen. We have a player for every position at the moment but successful teams have strength in depth.
“You need to be able to bring somebody else in who can do as good a job if you have injuries or suspensions so that is what I looking at now.
“I’ve got to make sure we’ve got plenty of back up in key areas but I’ve also got to be aware of the budget.
“I might take one more experienced player and after that it will be a couple of youngsters who wouldn’t cost us a lot of money.
“I don’t want to be paying boys a lot of money to sit on the bench every week but we need two or three to fill the squad up.
“They wouldn’t be complete kids but players who could come on if I needed to make a substitution or could play two or three games and do a job if someone was injured.”
Trialists Bobson Bawling, Emmet O’Connor, Lewis Lindsay, Collins John and Simon Heslop will all get another chance to impress against Fulham today. Further trialists are expected to feature against Albion on Wednesday with Gregory making a decision on their future later in the week.
Gavin Tomlin (groin) and Matt Harrold (knee) will not feature due to injury but Lewis Young is fit despite leaving on crutches after suffering a knock in the friendly against Oakwood on Tuesday.
Gwion Edwards will be in the squad after some minor contract issues regarding his move from Swansea City were resolved.
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