Vale land Pilkington

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PORT VALE have signed defender George Pilkington on a free transfer from Premiership side Everton.

Valiants boss Brian Horton has been tracking the 21-year-old and has moved swiftly to bring him to the Division Two club, after he was released from Goodison Park at the end of last season.

The versatile defender is a graduate of The FA's National School of Excellence and can play in all four positions of the back-line.

Despite his abilities, the tall Pilkington was unable to break into David Moyes's first team and spent time on loan last season with Exeter City for 12 matches.

"George has a good pedigree and can play in all positions across the back four - so he is very useful addition to the first team squad," a delighted Horton told the club's official website.

"Both Ray Williams and myself have watched him on many occasions and we believe he has tremendous potential.

"He has the chance to fight for a first team place and prove Everton were wrong to release him."