It’s the day we’ve been waiting for, the day when a month worth of business is crammed into ten short hours. A day, as Danny said last night, where players are rushed into life-changing decisions and where a faulty fax can alter the course of an individuals entire career. It’s unfair, its absolute madness and yet as fans, we love it.
Who’s coming in? Who’s going out? What can we expect? Well, seeing as it is the day for speculation and myth, I’ll tell you what I don’t actually know.
Firstly, there was a League Two midfielder at the game last night, a player with 27 appearances for his club, six goals and a player we targeted in the summer. He’s out of contract this season and he expressed a desire to leave his current club when the season ends. I recognised him, or at least I thought I did, but I’ve had it since confirmed that there was a man by his name there last night. He is…. Tom Pett.
Are we close to a deal? Was he just there because he is a friend of one of our players? Is he actually signing for Newport? Look, those things I don’t know. I won’t pretend to know something I don’t, but I’ll tell you here what I do know.
Pett had two seasons at Wealdstone before signing for Stevenage, and in over 140 odd appearances for them he’s bagged 20 goals. He’s a winger primarily, although he can operate in the centre and has actually played in a variety of positions. Stevenage wanted to keep him this season but he has recently gone on the transfer list at his own request. He’s a former England C international and at 25 is 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.
Here’s one completely out of left field for you, courtesy of a Grimsby contact or two. They’re speculating, heavily, that one of theirs is coming in for one of ours. I leave the departing name up to you, but both of them have suggested we’re looking at Sam Jones. He’s the former Gateshead striker who is heavily linked with wanting out of the carnage at Blundell Park, but one who likes the area enough to not move too far. Jones is a striker (check) and one whom Danny and Nicky will know well as he spent time in the National League. Before anyone starts crying about being prolific, let me give you a stats again. Matt Green has eight in twelve games.
Right, now think about what we actually need. The last thirty of a game we need two options, the chance to remain as a twin partnership, keep the pace and energy about us but with fresh legs. I’m going to stress this again because I feel we’re missing a point: we do not need to bring in a top name striker like Miller or Doidge. Of course, it would be nice, be we must be very sensible about our aims. We’ve got League One quality throughout our side,we need to be fleshed out with similar potential, but we must remain balanced. Keeping the tireless Matt Green happy, along with Rheady and another big name striker might be tricky, at least in February.
I’ve seen social media lit up with news of a returning hero too, a former Imp looking to come back and finish off the job he started last season. Inevitably many have said Sean Raggett, Danny said that is 1% likely but in Danny speak it means there is a chance, albeit a slim one.Last night both Terry Hawkridge and Jack Muldoon were at the game also, but I don’t think it’s either of those. No, I think we need to look back in the transfer window to get ‘our man’.
The way some deals work, so I’m told, is that they’re agreed and then put on the back burner to see if anything better comes along. For instance, at Posh they have a deal agreed in principle for Ricky Miller to go out on loan. If nobody stumps up cash today, he’ll be arriving at a League Two club sometime around 10.30pm this evening. What if three weeks ago we agreed a deal in principle, with Southend, and when the clock strikes 11pm we’ve brought in one Theo Robinson?
I know his arrival will split the fan base right down the middle, he’ll either be a great addition or thoroughly underwhelming. My two pence worth is he’d be a strong addition to the squad. One criticism was that he only performed in the FA Cup against Football League clubs, if that is your argument then remember we’re now Football League playing against said clubs every week. I remember his finishes against Brighton and Ipswich, his strength and pace too. Theo Robinson would be a good singing at this level, not as a starter but again, to offer alternatives.
Of course, there may be a surprise or two. Rumours are strong it is us that has agreed the deal with Ricky Miller and he wants to remain in the area and close to his Peterborough home. The chain Danny spoke of could well be Miller, we’re waiting on Posh and therefore won’t move on Theo until they move on Miller. It’s that Mexican stand-off again, all parties staring each other down until one blinks. When one does, all hell breaks lose. I’d expect that to be after 2pm today, but who knows? Deep down I hope it is after 2pm today, as in half an hour I have a meeting with my real employers and therefore won’t be near a computer until this afternoon!
I fully expect a loan keeper too, I’m a big Paul Farman fan and I’m delighted he’s back in the sticks but we do need a number two. I’m gutted for Josh because I think he is a great keeper also. Vickers is perhaps more commanding and a more dominant presence, but Paul Farman is an excellent shot stopper. In games against County, Accrington, Peterborough and last night he’s pulled off magnificent saves and that should be remembered before you start putting finger to keyboard because he’s palmed a shot away.
Other outside bets today? Well, Nico Muir the Hendon striker has been on trial at QPR and is now allegedly in talks with two League Two clubs. I’d love that to be us, it is highly likely to be Barnet and Crawley as he’s likely to remain down in London. He’s a boy full of talent though and I suspect he’ll have a big impact wherever he goes.
If he does go to Barnet that opens up the possibility of Simeon Akinola against. The new manager at Barnet has clouded the potential deal, but he might be unloading wages to bring in new faces. That deal would not surprise me one little bit.
With regards to outs, we all know one who is favourite to go, I won’t keep going on about it as I’ve said before. Callum Howe may well go back out on loan to the National League and there’s talk of Elliott Whitehouse leaving too. I can’t see Elliott going anywhere, he’s had game time recently and we need numbers. Elliott might not be starting eleven quality, but he does give us something from the bench. Finally, I’m being told Cameron Stewart has singed an extension, I have no confirmation unless I’ve missed the news personally, but again he’s likely to remain with the squad. Stewart hasn’t shown his full potential yet, but he did provide the cross for Harry’s goal and he’s working his way back to his former glory. Maybe he could be another Neal Eardley, albeit taking more time to reach his heights. As for Neal, if anybody comes in for him I’ll personally drive to Sincil Bank and lay under the wheels of his car until 11pm.