Opinion/Analysis: Future Recruitment – What we Need and Potential Targets

We have spoken about the ‘Critchley Mould’ on a number of occasions throughout our blog and now on the first edition of the 1-2 podcast. There’s been so much exciting talent that Blackpool have acquired it has whet our appetites for more! Now that the regular Championship season has drawn to a close, we’ve scoured the league to find some of the talent which has been released and may be targeted – in areas we’ll be looking to strengthen.

We previously wrote about the current squad and potential gaps that need to be filled, some of which were done with last week’s news of two new signings (Jerry Yates and CJ Hamilton) and a contract extension (Ollie Turton). So what holes remain in the Seasiders’ squad and who might the club be looking at to fill them?

Goalkeeper

It’s been clear from when we released a number of goalkeepers that Blackpool would require another one. Originally, Sarkic’ brother (Matija) was linked but that rumour seems to have died down a little now. The position would be suited to an experienced head on a free transfer. The likes of Remi Matthews may be considered a good find as he is currently available as a free agent following the release from Bolton and is still only 26. He could potentially test Chris Maxwell, although he’ll want to improve his record of 33 appearances and 8 clean sheets. We do have Jack Sims on the books, though he may not yet be ready for regular football should Maxwell get injured.

Centre Back

This is a clear area of weakness for us and we require another experienced, ball playing centre back – especially with the link of Ryan Edwards to Bolton (Ian Evatt knows Edwards from his Chesterfield days). Again a natural born leader is essential in this position.

We wouldn’t mind bringing back Heneghan if suitable wages can be agreed. We know he didn’t wow us in the second loan spell, however he was always a threat from set-pieces and with the right coaching with regards to passing could flourish under Neil Critchley.

Ideally, we would be able to bring back Taylor Moore (Bristol City) who looked to be one of the stronger acquisitions in team on loan last season. A few more centre backs that fit the bill and we could snap on a free transfer are former loanee Grant Hall (QPR – 30 apps, 5 goals and 1 assist) or possibly Morgan Fox utilised as LB or LCB (Sheffield Wednesday – 27 apps, 2 goals and 1 assist).

Centre Midfielder/Defensive Midfielder

Following Jay Spearing’s decision not to sign an extended contract, we clearly need a defensive/centre midfielder. We only have Matty Virtue and Ben Garrity for cover. Whether that’s someone who will look to pick the ball up from defenders and find a key pass in the mould of Barry Ferguson, or someone that can break up the play and give the ball to those who can do the running in the mould of Keith Southern. We have looked at both options and touched on a few that could potentially help us out.

The options we have found are the following:

Over 25
Sam Hutchinson (Sheffield Wednesday – 23 apps, 1 goal and 1 assist)
Tom Huddlestone (Derby – 11 apps and 1 goal)
Andy King (Leicester – 14 apps)
Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham – 18 apps, 1 goal and 2 assists)

25 and under
Reece Cole (Brentford – 19 apps, 2 goals and 5 assists)
Jon Toral (Hull City – 14 apps and 3 assists)

We also have the option of the loan market too. If we could ambitiously manage to get the likes of Conor Ronan (Wolves) or class act Kieran Dewsbury Hall (Leicester) back, they will surely make a certain impact.

Recent speculation from Alan Nixon highlights that Blackpool are linked with experienced Defensive Midfielder Anthony Grant who previously played for… you guessed it – Swindon Town. We are suprised to be in the hunt for another Swindon player, who this time doesn’t fit with the recent transfer mould of young players. Grant is described as an combative player and at 33 years old has an experienced head. He is also available on a free transfer and recently won player of the season as voted for by Swindon fans – so maybe these are the reasons Pool are potentially hoping to sign him up.


What do you think? Are there any positions we haven’t mentioned? Got any players in mind that could help us? Let us know in the comments or on our social channels!

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Published by Dan Hopwood

Life long Blackpool fan, thanks to my older brother for dragging me to Bloomfield Road in days of Colin Hendry! Currently a seaside exile living in London.

2 thoughts on “Opinion/Analysis: Future Recruitment – What we Need and Potential Targets

  1. I would never have dispensed with Mark Howard. The obvious centre backs to bring in are Heneghan and Taylor Moore, although the former was not at his best for much of last season. If Heneghan doesn’t return we won’t though have adequately replaced him, Tilt, or Clark Robertson. Neither Garrity or Virtue are a natural fit for the Spearing role, but maybe Husband will play in that ‘destroyer’ position. Binning Hardie, Delfouneso, and maybe Nuttall would allow a proven ‘been there done it’ striker to be brought in to complement the squad’s inexperience. It would though otherwise seem that Madine will be given a lot of responsibility, that his injury and goal scoring records might not justify.

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    1. Madine needs to start showing his worth for his representation and his wages (I imagine!). The team is starting to take shape, but Blackpool seem to be more cautious now with the potential wage cap. Be interesting to see who we go for, from here on out.

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