Given the recent speculation that the club has stepped up its interest in Rotherham’s Jerry Yates, we wanted to take a look into the player in more detail and analyse the potential talents the 23-year-old might bring to Bloomfield Road.
One common trend of Blackpool’s transfer activity this summer has been the professional, under the radar nature which it has been conducted in. Competent business has been completed behind closed doors, the way it should be.
However, selfishly from a fans’ perspective, there really is nothing like a good old-fashioned transfer saga rumbling away all summer, complete with Jim White yelling down the teleprompter that the transfer has got over the line. Every season has at least one. The more rumbling, the more rumours of transfer fees the more agent leaks, the better.
Blackpool haven’t typically been a side to be involved in such drama over recent years, but that’s starting to change under Simon Sadler as we increase our level of ambition. That’s certainly the case in our pursuit of Rotherham’s Jerry Yates. JY spent last season on loan at Swindon Town, playing in a front three alongside recent signing Keshi Anderson and League Two top scorer Eoin Doyle. Swindon lost out to Pool for Anderson who they’d offered a new deal, and last week found that Bolton had won the race for Doyle on a free transfer, so understandably they’re desperate to win the race to secure the permanent signature of the highly rated Yates following promotion to League One.
While it’s understood that Jerry is open to a move back to the County Ground, we’ve all been around for long enough to know that money talks in football, and this feels like it will come down to who has the biggest pockets. Fortunately for Blackpool, Sadler has already proven he will not be deterred by Covid-19 in his desire to build a club for the local residents to be proud of. According to recent speculation, Blackpool are in the driving seat to acquire the coveted signing of Yates, with Sunderland also rumoured to be interested in addition to The Robins.
At 23 years old, Yates perfectly fits into Blackpool’s current acquisition strategy of purchasing up-and-coming footballers who should continue to improve, and ultimately be assets to the club in 3-4 years time. He is coming off his most successful season thus far as a professional, scoring 13 league goals, often cutting in from the left-hand side onto his preferred right foot. He played on the left of a front three in 30 of his 36 appearances last season. You can see from his 19/20 heat map below he will offer the Seasiders width and creativity down that side, if Critchley opts to play with out-and-out wingers.
Competition For Places
Whilst areas of Blackpool squad are currently exceptionally lightweight, specifically GK and CM, as outlined by our recent article assessing the current squad, the one area Critchley now has options is in the forward positions. To cover these spots, Neil could theoretically opt to select any of Madine, Hardie, Nuttall, Delfouneso, Ward, Kaikai, Feeney and new signings Sarkic or Anderson. Whilst accepting some of these may be utilised elsewhere, there are already 9 players to play in 3 spots and Yates would make this 10. Will the recruitment team look to offload members of the squad before the season starts? Or will the depth be an asset in what will be a condensed, hectic 20/21 season?
View from the Other Side
Yates is universally loved by Swindon fans and after the loss of two of their key men, it is fair to say they are desperate that manager Richie Wellens brings him back to offer some creativity and goals into a depleted squad.
Here’s what a selection of Swindon fans have been saying on Twitter:
@Damian_Meaden: “He’s very good. Weighed in with more than his fair share and stepped up when Bradford stole Doyle for a few weeks (and once he was back!)”
@dezined: sarcastically “No, no, no! Incorrect! He was rubbish! Awful! You shouldn’t go anywhere near him if you’ve got any sense! Plenty more fish in the sea! Begone!”
Reaction from Rotherham:
Whilst it is clear he is well perceived at Swindon, this does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Rotherham fans. Despite being on the club’s books since his youth and signing professional terms in 2014, it is clear to see they are more than happy for Yates to move on. He has only scored 2 goals in 47 games for the Millers, though it’s worth noting that 29 of those games were between the age of 19-21 as a lone striker. For a player who’s been unable to break into their side, the proposed money in question (reported to be £400k-£500k) has taken some aback on the forums;
Masbroughstreet: “We usually get shafted with regards to transfer fees but in this case I totally agree, if anybody is daft enough to offer 400 grand we should bite their hands off. I’d be amazed if we got more than 150k”
Those no time for sentiment in football, it’s a business to be the best and climb as high as possible with what you’ve got with a team. There’s no disputing Yates was indeed a trier but for some reason always looked a level too low to become a first team regular. I am pleased for the lad; he had a good season with Swindon and that he went on to bag a decent goal tally for them. Being realistic though, he wouldn’t have managed that with us, as we have players better than Jerry. He has found his level and a niche’ to be recognised so good luck to him with his future football career. Yes, he’s only young and may well go on to improve to higher levels, I hope he does but for now, he doesn’t fit into our side or position in the Championship. Sensible thing is to sell but quick, before interest wains.
Nothing against Jerry Yates but if clubs are willing to pay £500,000 for him no wonder football clubs are in trouble.This could also work against us when we offer silly money for players at other clubs.I would not want to pay no more than £250,000 for him.
Opposite Ends of the Spectrum
There is a common misconception in football that players can not improve. Once a fan holds an opinion, either positive or negative, it is difficult to change the mindset. Joe Nuttall may face similar criticism this next season if he doesn’t hit the ground running and this situation is seemingly similar for Millers supporters.
It is entirely plausible that during Yates’ spell at Rotherham, he was not good enough. He was exceptionally young, playing as a backup to Kieffer Moore in a direct style that was a far cry from the style of play where he found much success last season in Wellens’ free-flowing attacking play. All comparable stats show a significant improvement last season, both offensively and defensively, and the hope is that – if Yates does become a Blackpool player – then the playing style under Neil Critchley would be similarly fluid.
Whilst it is interesting to see Rotherham fans’ opinions, I prefer the credibility of a fanbase who has just seen the player thrive in a successful season with a significant goal return – truly seeing the potential and capabilities of the player: I also have faith in a recruitment team who are making significant, swift acquisitions with a clear strategy in place. Granted, this will come at a sizeable outlay, but what will the combined worth be of Keshi Anderson, Oliver Sarkic and Jerry Yates be in 18 months time? You would expect it to be upwards of the mooted £500k and the board has bought itself some wiggle room following the impressive dealings in free transfers so far this window.
What do you think, Blackpool fans? Do you think the potential capture of Yates would be a significant statement of intent, or has a bidding war caused us to potentially overpay for the forward? Let us know in the comments below or in all the usual places!
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