DEAN KEATES has revealed that Luke Young was on his Wrexham shopping list heading towards the summer of 2018.

Keates was making plans for a recruitment drive as the Reds moved towards the end of the 2017/18 National League season.

But with just nine games to play Keates received an offer that was too good to turn down as hometown team Walsall came knocking.

Under Andy Davies, Wrexham’s play-off push ended in disaster as they found themselves outside the top-seven having been firmly in the automatic promotion picture for large parts of the season.

Sam Ricketts eventually came through the door at The Racecourse and made Young his first signing on a two-year deal as the midfielder opted to leave Torquay after they were relegated to the National League South.

After signing Young, Ricketts said: “I have said from day one that I want quality players and Luke is one of them.”

And Keates is of a similar opinion to the now Shrewsbury boss, insisting that Young, who missed all but eight games of the 2015/16 campaign, after suffering a serious training ground knee injury, was a primary target of his three years ago.

“He was on my list to recruit,” said Keates, who explained: “He has played in the Football League, had a bad injury, but is back playing. I always had a difficult game when I played against him, he’s a good little player.”

Asked whether Young, pictured modelling Wrexham’s new home kit, reminded Keates of himself - wonder goals aside - the Reds’ boss joked: “He’s more mobile than I am” before talking about the 27-year-old’s undeniable qualities.

“He epitomises what you want from a player,” continued Keates. “He stamps his authority on games and his workrate and effort show just what a great professional he is.

“He’s exactly what you want from a player and someone for people to try and emulate.”

Young triggered an automatic one-year contract extension to remain at The Racecourse for next season. The midfielder is just one of half-a-dozen players, alongside Shaun Pearson, Rob Lainton, Jay Harris, Dan Jarvis and Devonte Redmond, to have a deal for the 2020/21 National League season.

Picture courtesy of Wrexham FC