SAM Bowen has been backed to follow the lead of Wales midfielder Josh Sheehan by pulling the strings for Newport County AFC.

The 21-year-old has swapped Cardiff City for the Exiles, who have paid an undisclosed fee for the midfielder.

Bowen made five appearances for the Bluebirds but is dropping down to League Two from the Championship to ignite his career.

Sheehan profited from making a similar move when he headed east from Swansea City to become a County favourite.

His exploits in amber led to him winning three caps for Wales and a move to League One with Bolton in 2021, only for a bright start at Wanderers to be ended by a serious knee injury.

Sheehan's composure on the ball and passing range made him a stand-out player in the fourth tier and County boss James Rowberry believes his summer signing can provide similar class and control.

South Wales Argus: Sam Bowen in action for Cardiff against County last summerSam Bowen in action for Cardiff against County last summer

"Sam is a Josh Sheehan type," said the manager, who worked with the midfielder at Cardiff.

"He has excellent ball-playing ability from that 'quarter-back' position in midfield and will really add value to what we have already got there.

"It's almost a second opportunity for Sam – he is going to come somewhere he will be loved and will get the chance to develop.

"He really could make a name for himself here because he is coming here to get games and this is a big chance to earn a move back up the leagues.

"Sam is talented but he has to earn the right to play – he has got to challenge for a place in the team and knows that he won't have a guaranteed start.

"He didn't quite get the opportunities that he had hoped for at Cardiff but this is a real chance for him and he is definitely ready to go in senior football."

Bowen looks set to tussle with Scot Bennett, Robbie Willmott and Matty Dolan for the deeper midfield options while Rowberry will have new options in the number 10 role.

Last season Ollie Cooper and Finn Azaz shone when spending the season in Newport from Swansea City and Aston Villa respectively.

Attacking midfielder James Waite will look to press on after making an impression following his arrival in January from Penybont in the Cymru Premier.

He has been joined by experienced Aaron Wildig, who was Morecambe’s captain last season, and Rowberry could add another promising prospect on loan.