STUART McCall has indicated that teenager Danny Devine is “very much” in his Valley Parade squad thoughts.

The 18-year-old has made a good impression with the Bantams boss during pre-season.

Devine, the only second-year scholar to be given a pro deal in the summer, is naturally a central midfielder. But he has also shown his versatility to fill in with other defensive roles during the friendlies.

That has gone down well with McCall, who is now leaning towards hanging on to him rather than send him out for loan experience at a local non-league club.

That could still happen for Devine as well as fellow youngsters Reece Webb-Foster and James King. But for now, McCall is happy to keep him involved.

He said: “When I first came in, the impression was that the three boys might be ones that would go out on loan to get some football.

“Kingy has had a slight injury so he’s not been able to train and Reece has been out before.

“But Danny has done well in a variety of positions, left back, right back and centre midfield.

“He has shown up well and I see him right now as part of the first-team squad. For example, if Macca (Tony McMahon) hadn’t come through to play on Saturday, then Danny would have been in again at right back.

“He’s done himself no harm. It’s the ideal scenario for a club to see young lads come through and he’s proved so far that he is good enough.

“Obviously if we bring more boys in and the young lads don’t feel they are going to be used enough then we’ll loan them out. But at this time they are very much part of it.”

McCall still wants to bring in one more central midfielder to compete with Romain Vincelot, Nicky Law and Timothee Dieng and is targeting top-flight starlets in the loan market.

He has confirmed an interest in Liverpool’s Cameron Brannagan and City have made attempts to bring back Josh Cullen from West Ham.

With no emergency system to fall back on this season, business has to be done by the end of the transfer window.

McCall admits that has altered the way of thinking for many managers as they wait for the green light from parent clubs.

But Premier League teams also expect their youngsters to play regularly – and some have systems in place to charge clubs when that is not the case.

McCall said: “There is loads to take into account.

“Nowadays you’ve got penalties to pay if you don’t play the young lads and you don’t want to be pressurised into using them.

“With the loan system changing that does change the dynamic. You possibly have to have a bigger squad.

“The season starts on Saturday but the window goes to the end of the month and you might have to wait until then.

“It might be a case that people will look at it first and then decide on the players that are not going to be in the first team and let them out.

“You might pick up a couple then quite late. Remember last season, Cullen never came in until February.

“But you’ve also got to be careful in case players go back. Look at what happened at Coventry when Liverpool took Ryan Kent back halfway through – that can disrupt you as well.”