HARRY Wheeler believes Luke Rooney can be a key player as Billericay Town fight for glory on four fronts in the final months of the season.

Town confirmed the signing of the former Gillingham and Swindon Town midfielder late on Monday.

Rooney had been playing in the American second division for Phoenix Rising, alongside former Chelsea and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba.

But the creative attacker will now be playing his football at the AGP Arena. And Wheeler is looking forward to seeing him in action.

“Luke is a quality player and he can make things happen,” said the Town head coach. “I think Luke is similar to Sam Deering in the sense that they are both capable of winning a game on their own. Intelligent players are able to play with each other and both of these boys are.

“Sam can play with anyone and Luke is similar. He can play across the middle line, in the hole and in wide positions. I am sure they can link up well.

“We played Queens Park Rangers in pre-season and I heard then from someone he knew that he would be available for loan in the American off-season in December. We were looking at that and we couldn’t do it due to international clearance reasons so we left it.

“But it turns out he is coming back to the UK as his girlfriend was coming home and he wanted to come with her.

“We felt it was a good opportunity to add to our squad with a busy period coming up.

“Competition is always good and Luke can play in the FA Trophy, which is a big plus for us.”

Rooney could make his debut in this weekend’s Isthmian Premier League clash against Leiston.

Wheeler added that Rooney’s signing was not a reaction to Jermaine Pennant’s departure.

And he admitted he would be speaking to striker Louie Theophanous about his position at the club in the coming days.

The striker, who has scored 11 goals for Billericay this season, was sent on loan to Kingstonian last month and endured a frustrating return in front of goal when he was reinstated to the Town line-up against Romford last week.

Wheeler said: “Louie had a niggle after the Romford game, which is why he wasn’t involved at the weekend [against Met Police]. I will be speaking to him about his involvement but we haven’t had any discussions yet.”

Wheeler confirmed Kevin Foley has had a successful operation on his groin and will return to light training next Saturday.

Foley has not featured since the FA Cup first round defeat to Leatherhead on November 16.