ITALIAN under-19 international Diego de Girolamo is expected to make his York City debut as an out-and-out striker at Newport County this weekend.

De Girolamo, who has been signed on loan from Sheffield United for a month, has played as a centre forward and a winger for the Blades.

But, with Wes Fletcher ruled out for the trip to South Wales and Michael Coulson and Jake Hyde both rated doubtful, the talented teenager is poised to parter fellow loanee Ryan Brunt in attack.

City boss Nigel Worthington said: "He will probably play up front and, hopefully, float around the big man, pick things up and drive at the opposition defenders. He's a regular in the Italian youth set-up and he's a good talent.

"He had a nasty injury about 18 months ago, which set him back a little bit, but we've watched him on a few occasions and he played against us in pre-season. He's neat and tidy and can create and open things up for other people.

"He's bright, reads the game well, likes to dribble and is always looking to get a shot off. He will also join in with the other players and we haven't been linking together as well up there, as we were doing last season.

"We've been keeping tabs on him for about six or seven weeks and it was just a case of when Nigel Clough was ready to let him out on loan."

The Chesterfield-born, 19-year-old qualifies to play for Italy through his father and netted on his debut for the country's U19s during a 1-1 draw with Germany in March.

He also scored three goals in six appearances for the U18 side and made his full debut for Clough's Sky Bet League One club in Tuesday's 2-1 Johnstone's Paint Trophy victory at Hartlepool, playing the first 63 minutes.

Earlier in his career, De Girolamo first appeared for United's first team at the age of 17 as a substitute in the same competition at Coventry.

He also enjoyed two further league outings from the bench in 2012/13 before suffering a knee ligament injury that kept him sidelined for nine months.

City development consultant Richard Cresswell played alongside De Girolamo at Bramall Lane and also ran the rule over him during a spell as the Blades' U21s coach and City's new signing comes with a strong recommendation from his former team-mate and mentor.

"Richard knows a lot about him and has given us good information on the boy," Worthington revealed. "You need to pick people's brains, as well as watching the player, to make sure they are right for you.

"We didn't see him play at Hartlepool but we got reports from people and were told he did quite well."

Like Fletcher and long-term casualty Josh Carson, centre-back Dave Winfield (thigh) will not make the trip to Newport - the scene of Worthington's biggest league loss in charge of the Minstermen -following a 3-0 reverse last October.

On that memory, the City chief added: "We didn't get off to a good start last season and they steamrollered us far too easily, so we've got to be mindful of that. You have to be solid and dependable away from home and put a hard shift in.

"They are a big, strong side and physical but that's just part of the game. You have to compete and then have the courage to play when you get the ball."

Worthington is also demanding that his team take care in possession against their Welsh hosts, saying: "I have been banging away this week about getting the ball down and passing it, while keeping the same energy levels and endeavour. We are capable of passing the ball and throwing it out from the back when the opportunity arises."