Six League One players Town could snap up for free this summer…
With another season in League One on the horizon, we take a look at some of the best League One free agents that could be available for Town when the summer window eventually reopens.
Earlier this week, FIFA announced that they will be enforcing contract extensions that will see players stay with their current clubs until the 2019/20 season is over, even if their current deal ends in the summer.
Town have dipped into the free agent market in the last year or so, picking up the likes of James Norwood, Alan Judge and Tomas Holy. Although all fans want their club to spend millions on their playing squads, you can pick up a bargain every now and again.
So we’ve taken a look at six players from the Blues’ League One rivals whose deals expire at the end of the season and could well be available on a free transfer…
Callum Camps – Rochdale
The 24-year-old central midfielder could be the goalscoring midfielder Town have been crying out for. Whilst we have plenty of central midfielders, none of which really has an eye for goal.
Camps, progressed through the academy at Spotland, has bagged eight goals in 38 outings for the struggling Dale so far this season. The former Northern Ireland youth international, who was attracting interest from Peterborough last summer, can play anywhere in the centre of the park, from the holding midfield role to an attacking spot just behind the striker.
Scott Fraser – Burton Albion
An alternative to Camps would be Scott Fraser from Burton Albion. The Scottish midfielder has been in superb form for the Brewers so far this term, registering nine goals and 13 assists, only Blackpool’s Liam Feeney has more assists in League One.
Despite Fraser (25) being placed on the bench recently, as manager Nigel Clough prepares for life without the Scot next season, the midfielder has still chalked up 41 appearances for Burton so far this season. As with Camps, Fraser would add a real goal threat to our midfield, something that Paul Lambert should look to address this summer.
Jordan Clark – Accrington
Another area of the pitch which Town have found wanting this season is in the wide areas. Despite Lambert opting for the 3-5-2 for much of the season, Town really only have Jack Lankester, who had been out all season after back surgery and Gwion Edwards, who has operated in a more defensive role this season, as natural ‘wingers’.
If Lambert chooses not to recruit any wingers before the start of next season he will be putting all our eggs in one basket, the basket which has fell short this season.
Jordan Clark (26) informed Accrington of his desire to leave the Wham Stadium after four seasons with the club, clocking up over 150 appearances for the club. The right footed winger could add a potential more ‘direct’ approach to Town’s game, running at the opposition instead of the more ‘side to side’ style which we’ve been more accustomed to seeing this season.
Tom Flanagan – Sunderland
The former Burton defender joined Sunderland in 2018 and has made over 50 appearances for the Black Cats. Flanagan (28) is keen to remain with Sunderland and recently won his place back in Phil Parkinson’s team being the suspension of the season.
The right footed central defender would bring in a wealth of League One experience and if we are to lose Woolfenden, Flanagan would go someway in filling the ball playing role which Woolfenden currently performs so well doing.
A central defender will be high on Paul Lambert’s summer wishlist with Luke Woolfenden being touted with a move up the football ladder and Josh Earl returning to parent club Preston North End. That leaves skipper Luke Chambers, who will be another year older, and James Wilson as the only natural senior centre-backs at the club.
Chris Maguire – Sunderland
Maguire (31) became the first player in the Football League to reach double figures for both goals and assists during the 2019/20 campaign and has played a huge role in Sunderland’s season being revival into the promotion contention.
The former Oxford forward, who scored the winner when we played Sunderland at the Stadium of Light earlier this year, has that ‘X Factor’ but is certainly a character within the game. Manager Phil Parkinson questioned his fitness earlier on in the campaign, only to see Maguire pictured after an away defeat to Gillingham eating fast food at a service station. Reminds you of anyone Town fans?!
Predominately a right footer, Maguire often operates in the final third behind the striker. He has proved to be a match winner whilst at Sunderland and with no offer on the table at Sunderland, he could be looking for a new club this summer. Town have lacked that player to create something out of nothing this season, when teams defend deep knowing Town won’t have that quality to unlock them, Maguire is a player who may hold that key.
Armand Gnanduillet – Blackpool
The 28-year-old has 18 goals to his name this season in all competitions, and is certain to leave the Tangerines this summer when his contract expires.
This would be a real coup for Town as Gnanduillet won’t be short of admirers. Championship clubs are rumoured to be ready to swoop for the 6ft 4in striker with Charlton Athletic heavily linked with a move back in the January transfer window, although a move failed to materialise.
Ironically, the Blackpool striker missed both games against Town this season and he could be setting his sights on a team who will be in the second tier of English football next season. Despite at times this season having an attack envious of many opposition in League One, I do feel we are still a striker short of a real promotion push.
James Norwood and Kayden Jackson have proved they are more than capable of hitting double figures next season, while Will Keane always remains me of the bridesmaid but never the bride. We lack a target man, someone who can bring others into play and make the ball stick up front, Will Keane is arguably the best we have in that department but certainly not a target man.