Yeah, look it’s just another wild speculation article, but with the retained list out we have a clearer idea of what Danny Cowley is going to be looking for, do we not? We know we’re going to be bringing in a wide player or two, certainly one or two up top and maybe a defender who can operate at full back?
With that in mind, and with the absence of any real news, I’ve been doing a bit of digging again to come up with another list of possible targets. These are players that I think fit the bill, some have already been mentioned on social media whereas others are younger players from clubs higher up the league spectrum. Michael and Rob’s Facebook live speculated that there won’t be a ‘type’ of player we sign, rather we’ll be looking at ability to play in the Football League.
I also think we’ll be picking up youngsters from bigger clubs academies, possibly to populate our own under 21 team which is beginning to look a bit threadbare! So here we go with nothing more than wild speculation and a pinch of hope.
Let’s ease you in gently. Jeremiah Amoo (pictured above) is a winger schooled at West Ham and released last summer. Since then he has seen a bit of football at Kings Langley, Hemel Hempstead and most recently Aylesbury. Now this boy has pace to burn, bags of it, but he didn’t get an opportunity to break into the West Ham first team after his release. He had a major impact at Kings Langley, coming on late in an FA Cup tie and using his pace to break free and score the winner.
I think Amoo has the potential to rock up in a ‘squad player / one for the future’ type of role. I don’t think he’d fit immediately into the first team, but if we don’t go back for Joe Ward, Josh Ginnelly or (in our dreams) Harry Anderson, then perhaps Amoo is the sort of player Danny would want around the squad.
Now maybe I am dreaming here, but you just never know, so I’m going to introduce Toni Martinez to you. He played the latter part of last season on-loan at Oxford United, scoring twice as they closed in on a play-off spot in League One. Prior to that his entire first-team experience amounted to a run out for West Ham u23’s in the EFL Trophy, where he scored twice in a 4-2 defeat by eventual winner Coventry City.
That may not sound like football pedigree, so how about this? Martinez may be a West Ham youth, but he only signed for West Ham in April 2016 from Spanish club Valencia f0r £2.4m. He’s represented Spain at u17 and u19 levels, and for West Ham u23’s he hit seven goals in seven games prior to joining Oxford. Perhaps there is a chance that West Ham want him to get some regular football out on loan? They’ll know all about Danny and Nicky, they were one of the first Premier League teams to tweet messages of congratulations. If they want Toni to get first team football, who knows? I trust our managers to pull something out of the bag, and this might just be it.
Fans of the Football Manager who search for Franks will find he is a Defender ‘RLC’, which essentially means he can play right, left or centre. He’s a veteran of southern football having been at Luton, Welling, Wimbledon and currently Stevenage. Here’s a crucial element, Franks is still under contract so any move would bring about a fee. So why do we think Fraser Franks might be one for City?
Certainly Danny and Nicky will be aware of him having seen him at Welling whilst they were at Concord. They like a defender who gets forward to score goals, and at Franks is a six footer who could offer an aerial threat. He’s scored six times during his tenure at Stevenage, and he scored for England C in one of his five outings, four as captain. I believe Danny will be looking for a mix of player in this league, experience of Football League, but also someone who has come up the ranks from the non-league scene and established themselves. Last year he wanted National League players who had already achieved the play-offs, hence Arnold, Woodyard, Habergham etc. This season he’ll want league players established in League Two, and Franks fits the bill. His versatility would emulate that of Lee Beevers, something we missed last season too.
I’ve mentioned Pett before on here, he’s been transfer listed by Stevenage and I think he (again) fits that bill of former non-league player who has established himself as a Football League stalwart. He had two seasons at Wealdstone before signing for Stevenage, and in over 100 appearances for them he’s bagged 15 goals. He’s a winger primarily, one whom much was thought of. Stevenage wanted to keep him this season but he has recently gone on the transfer list at his own request.
Pett is 25 and reaching the peak of his career at the moment. He’s pacey and can switch flanks which is what Danny and Nicky like, but he can weigh in with a goal as well. He’s had three seasons in the Football League now and has shown he is more than capable of handling this level of football.
He would command a transfer fee again, but I don’t think we are worried about paying a small fee for the right player. I personally think someone like Pett would show a real sign of intent, plucking a wantaway player from an aspiring League Two play-off chaser.
Are we light in central midfield? Possibly. The Billy Knott rumours persist but at present he is a Gillingham player and we know nothing more. Alan Power has yet to sign his new deal, so at present we go into the new season with just Alex Woodyard and Elliott Whitehouse as recognised central midfielders. Maybe there’s a place for Charlton youngster Regan Charles-Cook in our squad?
I haven’t plucked Charles-Cook from thin air. He played 13 times on loan at Solihull Moors last season, and in those 13 games they won five, not bad for a team that only won 15 all season. He didn’t feature in the 9-0 drubbing by Tranmere, but he did score in wins against Macclesfield and Eastleigh that fired them towards safety. He’s highly rated at Charlton, but with chances limited even there, maybe some regular League Two football might aid his development? Despite their lowly position the Charlton academy is very highly rated, competing with the likes of Premier League Hull. Any move for Charles-Cook would have to be a loan deal though, and I believe if we’re loaning youngsters it will be from top-flight teams.
We’re smashing the double barreled Charlton players now, but I also hear really good things about Karlan Ahearne-Grant. Okay it would be another loan, so perhaps it is too fanciful, but perhaps if he conditions were right he could do a job for us. He’s a 19-year old forward with upwards of 30 professional games for Charlton under his belt. He started to make first team appearances for Charlton at the end of the season, but remains goalless this season. He did bag three last season though, but you have to wonder if they’ll be looking at him getting regular football in League Two. He has previously spent time on loan at Cambridge too.
There’s no specific rumours regarding these players, but I think they are the sort of player that we will be looking to bring in, a mix of ambitious youth players from a higher level, and former non-league players who have cut it in the Football League. I also think the most likely signings are players we have already seen on loan in one way or another, the likes of Billy Knott and Josh Ginnelly. However, after Lee Angol signed for Mansfield yesterday it does go to show that anything is possible.
Of all the players I’ve mentioned the one name I cannot pluck out of thin air is that of a talisman centre forward. I think if we lacked one thing last season it was a mobile and industrious forward player to get around Matt Rhead. Whether Rhead is a starter or not this campaign is up for debate, but the need to sign a goal scorer is not. One wonders if perhaps someone like Stefan Payne might join on a season long loan? Whatever is being planned, I trust in Danny Cowley to get it right for our football club.