Livingston players warned to be patient with Soto as Forrest rejects St Johnstone move

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Livingston players warned to be patient with Soto as Forrest rejects St Johnstone move
Livingston players warned to be patient with Soto as Forrest rejects St Johnstone move

DAVID Martindale has warned Livingston may have to be patient with latest signing Sebastian Soto - on and off the pitch.

The highly-rated 21-year-old will spend the rest of the campaign with the Lions after joining on loan from Norwich City.

His arrival at Almondvale has been interrupted after he tested positive for Covid and this weekend’s trip to face Hibernian could come too soon for the United States internationalist.

And Martindale admits there are also question marks over how quickly the former Hannover 96 attacker will settle into Scottish football.

The Almondvale boss, who substituted on-loan Aston Villa youngster Caleb Chukwuemeka at half-time in his first start at the weekend, said: “We have options up front but there’s a huge adaptation time. You can see it with Caleb, what he’s got but it’s going to take a spell to get him up to speed.

“I haven’t seen Soto yet and until you see them in your environment and playing in the Premiership, it’s a toss of the coin.

“Very seldom do you recruit someone and he can go straight into the starting XI.

“You’re hoping he’ll bring something because he was wanted by Chile and he’s scored for the USA.

“Possibly for Saturday, but probably more geared towards Tuesday, we’re going to see what level he’s at because Scottish football’s a lot better than people give it credit for.

“You’ve seen that even with players at the Old Firm over the years – they’ve come and under-estimated the physicality, intensity and aggressiveness of the games. That’s the big difference in Scottish football.”

Meanwhile, Martindale has backed Alan Forrest to continue giving his all for Livingston this season after knocking back a move to St Johnstone.

The two clubs agreed a fee for the winger, who was given permission to speak to the Perth club.

But the 25-year-old, who has indicated he plans to move on in the summer, rejected Saints’ offer and was a second-half substitute for Livi in Wednesday night’s 1-0 defeat to Rangers.

Martindale added: “I expected Alan to be out of the building but he threw a curve ball by saying he wanted to speak to St Johnstone then coming back and saying he wanted to stay.

“And he got offered a lot more money at St Johnstone than he’s on here - so he wants to stay for the right reasons.”

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