New Plymouth Argyle manager Ryan Lowe has made it clear that he intends to use Scott Wootton throughout the course of the season after giving the 27-year-old the number five jersey. That would have given the central defender a much-needed boost of confidence after a torrid few years in the game. Indeed, Lowe is looking to get Wootton back to the heights he once was at but can the defender get his career trending in the right direction again at Plymouth?
It isn’t uncommon for young players once tipped for greatness to drop down through the Football League after failing to cut it in the top flight, but every time it does happen it leaves you scratching your head in bewilderment. Wootton came through the Liverpool and Manchester United academies before choosing to sign professionally with United in 2010. It was none other than Sir Alex Ferguson who gave the green light to United offering Wootton a contract which makes his journey down the Football League even more peculiar. After all, Ferguson had one of the best eyes in the game when it came to spotting talent.
Naturally, a few are always going slip through the net and that is what has happened to Wootton. At this moment in time, the defender has now played for nine different clubs in his career. Wootton’s longest spell at a club came at Leeds United after he signed for the Whites in 2013 and then went on to make 74 appearances before being released as a free agent in 2016.
It was his time at Elland Road that may have caused his confidence to take a knock as a series of defensive blunders caused the fans to turn on him. His future at the club was sealed when he scored an own goal in a sixth-round FA Cup game at Vicarage Road and after that, there was no way back into the first team or the hearts of the supporters.
How different things could have been had Wootton not endured a nightmare 2015/2016 season given that Leeds would begin making serious steps towards getting back into the Premier League a few years later, and even now find themselves favorites at 11/8 in Championship betting to win the league. Make no mistake, there was a route back to the top with Leeds had he enjoyed a better season by applying himself more to the task at hand.
The 27-year-old needs to keep his head down and work his socks off now he is on the South Coast of Devon. Indeed, Signing for Plymouth Argyle during the summer of 2018 was seen as the right move for him and a chance to get back to playing regular football but it wasn’t to be after an injury-ravaged season.
The 2019/2020 season has got off to a better start with Wootton featuring in all six of Argyle’s league games and recording three clean sheets. It’s been a solid start by anyone’s standards and the hope is that this talented young defender can inspire the Pilgrims to promotion by keeping it tidy at the back. It’s now or never for Wootton.