NEWPORT County AFC intend to sign another candidate for number 10 this transfer window but manager James Rowberry is still excited about the progress of James Waite.

The Exiles are looking to fill the creative void left by the return of loan stars Finn Azaz and Ollie Cooper, who impressed when spending 2021/22 at Rodney Parade from Aston Villa and Swansea respectively.

County have brought in Aaron Wildig from League One Morecambe while Lewis Collins, Robbie Willmott and Will Evans are all capable of playing as attacking midfielders.

However, Waite is a natural fit as one of the dual 10s that Rowberry fielded last season, whether in a 3-5-2 or 4-2-2-2.

The 23-year-old from Sebastopol arrived from Penybont last January and made a bigger impression than expected after being signed with an eye to this season.

The former Cardiff City academy player featured 16 times, starting nine times, scoring twice and providing a pair of assists.

South Wales Argus: LIVELY: James Waite in action for County against Cardiff in pre-seasonLIVELY: James Waite in action for County against Cardiff in pre-season

The diminutive midfielder has fast feet in attack and bite when pressing in defence, with Rowberry looking forward to seeing more progress from the Gwent midfielder.

"That half a season will have helped him and he is still developing in certain aspects of his game," said the manager.

"The way that I would describe him is like Scot Bennett – very low maintenance but very high performing. I call them father and son!

"I know what James can offer and having Aaron Wildig, another one who is low maintenance, around him will also help with his progress.

"He gives us that flair and hopefully we will add another number 10 to help, because I am excited by what the whole team can offer, not just James."

County have brought eight players in this summer – Declan Drysdale, Sam Bowen, Wildig, Evans, Offrande Zanzala and Omar Bogle on permanent deals plus Adam Lewis (Liverpool) and Chanka Zimba (Cardiff) on loan.

They have got their business done early but must be patient with their final target of an attacking midfielder from the Premier League.

South Wales Argus: County boss James RowberryCounty boss James Rowberry

"Still working on it and we knew that it would take this long because of the teams that we are dealing with," said Rowberry.

"Darren Kelly (sporting director) is working hard behind the scenes to ensure it gets done and we have a few players on our list. Fingers crossed we will get it done, and we still have until the end of August."

County signed Aston Villa loanee Finn Azaz shortly before the start of last season and then brought in Swansea's Ollie Cooper and Liverpool's Jake Cain on deadline day.