Livingston boss David Martindale’s warning as Norwich City on loan prepare for Scottish football


Livingston boss David Martindale has urged patience after Norwich City striker Sebastian Soto arrived on loan.

The United States international joined the Scottish Premiership side earlier this week after cutting short his season-long loan spell with Porto B.

Soto played just eight games in the Portuguese second tier, scoring one goal, and his debut with Livi took a slight setback.

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A positive Covid test on arrival could see Soto miss the clash with Hibernian on Saturday, with Martindale hinting at a possible induction against bottom club St Johnstone on Tuesday night.

“Maybe for Saturday, but probably more geared towards Tuesday, we’ll see what level he is at because Scottish football is a lot better than people give it credit for,” Martindale said, as reported in the Daily recording.

“You’ve seen that even with the Old Firm players over the years they’ve come in and underestimated the physicality, the intensity and the aggressiveness of the games.

“That’s the big difference in Scottish football.”

Soto already has an impressive CV to showcase with the 21-year-old who came through the ranks at German side Hannover 96 before being snapped up by Norwich in July 2020.

A loan spell at Dutch second-tier side Telstar saw Soto score seven goals in 12 appearances before being recalled to Carrow Road in January 2021.

After rejecting a call-up to the Chile national team, California-born Soto made his senior debut for the US men’s national team against Panama in November 2020, scoring twice in a 6-2 win.

Although Martindale believe they have signed a talented young striker, Livi’s boss admits Soto could take time to adapt to the rigors of the Scottish game.

Aston Villa youngster Caleb Chukwuemeka can attest to that after the 20-year-old forward was substituted at half-time on his first start for Livi in ​​the Scottish Cup clash with County from Ross this weekend.

“We have options up front, but there’s a huge adjustment period,” Martindale said. “You can see it with Caleb, what he has, but it’s going to take a spell to bring him up to speed.

“I haven’t seen Soto yet but we’ve done all the background work and analysis.

“Until you see them in your surroundings and playing in the Premiership, it’s a draw.”

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