Paul Merson's summer of reinforcement will take a massive stride forward today when he concludes the signing of Everton defender Anthony Gerrard - cousin of England international Steven.
The 18-year-old has been on loan to Walsall for the past two months during which time he has impressed Merson with his assured defending and having been released by the Goodison Park club he has joined the Saddlers on a two-year deal.
Gerrard was one of the key components of a rejuvenated Walsall team that won its last five matches of the season, conceding just two goals - both penalties - in that run and Merson is delighted to have finally found a defensive option to challenge Julian Bennett and Ian Roper.
"I am really pleased," said Merson. "He is a good addition to the squad and if he can keep turning in performances like the ones he's produced for us over the last few games, he could go a long way.
"Getting him on a free transfer is a double bonus. If he continues to progress and playing regular football there will be a lot of scouts out there watching him."
Gerrard played eight games for the Bescot club this season and quickly established himself as a solid defender with excellent distribution.
Merson is also hopeful of striking a permanent deal for Leeds United striker Julian Joachim who also ended the last campaign at the club.
He yesterday expressed his confidence that Leeds would pay up the one year on the former Aston Villa player's contract allowing him to move to Walsall.