It’s been a busy few days for Blackpool with the recent kit launch and the announcement of fourth summer signing Jerry Yates from Rotherham. But there’s no sign of things slowing down after rumours emerged of another potential signing.
Most recently, Pool were linked with Mansfield Town’s CJ Hamilton, which has been confirmed by reliable sources Alan Nixon and Pete O’Rourke on Twitter. Here, we take a look at CJ’s attributes and give a snapshot of what Seasiders fans can expect if the move goes through.
Left- winger Chris (CJ) Hamilton seemingly fits the mould for what Neil Critchley and the board have been looking for so far in the market – the age range of 23-25 indicating a player still has his best years in front of him. He is another player who has impressed in the league below, where Pool have already poached Keshi Anderson, Marvin Ekpiteta and Jerry Yates who all performed well last year in that league.
The Seasiders are certainly blessed with pace and raw talent in an attacking sense, with strikers Gary Madine, Joe Nuttall, Ryan Hardie and Jerry Yates accompanied by the likes of Sullay Kaikai, Nathan Delfouneso and Anderson already on the Blackpool books. Youngster Tony Weston is also expected to be in and around the first team picture next season should he stay.
Harrow-born Hamilton worked his way up the ranks through the youth set-up at Sheffield United, spending time out on loan in the National League with Halifax Town and Gateshead before he made the permanant move to League Two club Mansfield in 2016. He scored 20 goals in 135 starts over four seasons, cementing his place as one of the key players for The Stags.
He particularly impressed in the 2018-19 season, being named in the EFL League Two Team of The Season after scoring 14 goals from out wide as Mansfield reached the Play-Offs, only to be beaten by Newport, who are of course managed by former Pool midfielder Michael Flynn. He was linked with a move away from Field Mill last summer, but nobody was able to prize him away.
Last season was a disappointing one for Mansfield who finished in a disappointing 21st position and it therefore seemed inevitable that they’d lose their prized asset in Hamilton, who will also be disappointed in his return of 3 assists and 2 goals in 41 appearances.
Perhaps that, coupled with the fact Hamilton is coming into the final 12 months of his contract, is why Hamilton has become available in this window at such a low fee, said by Alan Nixon on Twitter to be around the £200k mark, which is less than Mansfield were believed to be holding out for last year.
Another forward who plays wide traditionally, Hamilton is comfortable playing on either wing and is renowned for his lightning pace and trickery. He also has the ability to pick a key pass in the final third to unlock a defence – something we were crying out for throughout last season.
He’s left-footed, so is confident either driving down the left and acting as the supply line for players getting into the box, or cutting in from the right-hand side and driving into the box himself with power.
Watch some of his highlights from the 2018-19 season from the Official Mansfield Town highlights reel here.
Not got time? Watch this one goal which has it all.
CJ is renowned for playing with passion, energy and desire which would surely endear him to the Bloomfield Road faithful if we can get this one over the line.
View from the other side
Some of the Mansfield Town fans voice their opinion:
‘That would be a shame maybe 500k would be worth it’.
‘I would be hugely disappointed if this happened. I know some don’t agree but I rate Hamilton as one of our most outstanding players of recent years. His presence and pace alone frighten defenders to death and if our forwards had kept up, his number of assists would be at least doubled even during the last abysmal season for the team.‘
‘Add the fact that he can cover at left back/wing back and he would be extremely hard to replace. I know that in current circumstances fees have taken a nose dive so £300,000 would be a good amount but I think he is worth more than that to us especially if we are again looking at promotion. I don’t think we could get a better or more valuable player to the team at our level.’
‘Fully understand that people have their frustrations with his end product at times, but he can be such a huge threat at this level and puts defenders on the back foot. We would struggle to replace him in my opinion.’
‘He can play multiple positions quite effectively as well which could be crucial if we are going to work with a slightly smaller squad considering all that’s going on.
I wouldn’t accept £300k personally.’
Where will he fit in?
We suffered on the left-hand side last season when Kaikai was out injured and that was clearly outlined as an area of weakness, so hopefully Hamilton would immediately fill that void within the squad.
The fact that each can slot into any of those front three positions makes it ideal for Blackpool to manage any potential injuries better or losses in form, keeping players fresh and keeping opponents guessing – both of which we struggled with last season. We have already made some strong acquisitions to our forward line, and this is without mentioning the likes of Kaikai who we all know has some real ability if he can stay fit.
What do you expect our forward line to look like under Neil Critchley? Let us know in the comments below or on any of our social media platforms!
Don’t forget to turn on notifications on Twitter and Instagram to see our latest content first. Please help us out by commenting, liking and retweeting our posts to spread the word across the Blackpool fans. Up the mighty Pool.
Image credit © Mansfield Town: