Nyatanga ready to bring plenty of know-how to Cobblers
On Monday, the final piece of Cobblers' defensive jigsaw was put in place.
Centre-back Lewin Nyatanga, who can also play at right-back, was recruited on a season-long loan.
The 27-year-old had been training with Town last week but was required by parent club Barnsley last Saturday.
That meant his move was delayed, but he is now at Sixfields, ready to battle Gabriel Zakuani, Rod McDonald and Zander Diamond for a central defensive berth.
And Nyatanga, who has won 34 caps for Wales, is now desperate to make a starting spot his own as he searches for some valuable game time.
“It was important for me to move on and get some games under my belt,” said Nyatanga, who made 28 appearances for Barnsley last season, but has not played a first-team game since the turn of the year.
“Last season I played 28 games but the season before I played every game so that’s my aim, to play in every game possible.
“He (Cobblers manager Rob Page) was interested in me for a while, so it’s up to me now to show my worth.
“I need bed down in the team and work with the rest of the players to do the best we can this season.”
Nyatanga joins a group of Cobblers players who are eager to show they can step up to Sky Bet League One during this campaign.
The club cruised to the Sky Bet League Two title last season, and their new man says he was very impressed by what they achieved.
“The fact they won league two stood out,” he said. “Everyone in the Football League was very aware of that.
“I’ve played with some of the players before so it’s definitely a club on the up, which is a good sign.”
Nyatanga has played in the Premier League before, lining up for Derby County in the top division.
And when asked what he will bring to Cobblers, he said: “My experience. I’ve got a lot of games under my belt.
“I’m comfortable on the ball and I’ll bring my communication to the team.”
While there will be no league one shocks for the well-versed Nyatanga, Cobblers will need time to settle into their new surroundings.
They drew 1-1 with Fleetwood Town at Sixfields last Saturday, with an early goal for the home team cancelled out early in the second period.
So what does Nyatanga make of his new team-mates, having trained with them for a couple of weeks now?
“Every level has its increase in quality and tempo and so on but what I’ve seen of this team I think they’re well capable of making the jump to the next level,” he said.
Cobblers now have plenty of depth and strength across the back four, with two players for every position.
And Page, who takes his side to Charlton Athletic on Saturday, feels Nyatanga will be a huge positve for the team in the season ahead.
“Lewin’s got a vast amount of experience,” Page said. “He’s played international football, he’s played at Championship level, he knows this level inside out from last season so I think to have his experience in the team is really valuable.
‘’We wanted to strengthen in central defence and Lewin is a good left-footer who can also play full-back.
‘’He gives us options and with the loan rules this year we know how important it is to have players who can play in a number of positions.
‘’Lewin is a great professional, he’s a good age and I feel we’ve improved the group again.’’