Edited 27/08 -11.10am
Responding to a request on social media, this is the current squad as of 11.10am on 27th August
I will strive to update the squad list as and when new signings happen, or players leave. I’ve attempted to put them in rough positional order, along with their versatility in brackets.
There is definitely a need for a second keeper, I think that much is obvious. Josh Vickers is training with Rotherham and is unlikely to come back, so expect a new face of some sort, perhaps even a loan player. Despite speculation that Ross will be back up, there were plenty of Colchester fans calling for him to be their first choice, so he might yet be a surprise to many supporters.
Whilst we do have good cover at the back, I still suspect another central defender to come in. I get the impression MA will be happy to rotate defenders, especially full-backs. My gut feeling is Eyoma starts at right-back and Edun at left-back, but both Lewis and Melbourne will get games too. That makes Cian and Lewis Montsma our only ‘dedicated’ centre backs with experience, so I fancy us to grab another. However, watch out for Sean Roughan; he’s another I fancy us to see a bit of before the season is out. The Leasing.com Trophy could be interesting as we could witness a future top-level player making his first senior appearance.
12/08 Edit: Not long after this Adam Jackson arrived, confirming my thoughts that we’d sign another above.
14/08 Edit: Joe Walsh joins the side too, giving us more defensive options than I felt we needed at the initial time of writing.
21/08 – Bolger leaves the club
I’ve been liberal with the wingers, because I suspect most can play on either flank, hence the positions of Zack and Jorge Grant. Harry, we know from experience, is a one-trick pony and therefore one I’ve just plonked on the right-hand side of the field. Now, we’re definitely covered in the centre of the park, James Jones, Conor McGrandles and Liam Bridcutt will all hope to play as much as possible being Michael’s signings. I wouldn’t be surprised at additional support arriving on the flanks though; Zack Elbouzedi has quite a bit to prove after joining in January and although I can see Grant being used in the first team, I feel that MA is likely to look to have something different to Harry to call upon from the bench. With wide players usually being fast and tricky, it would not surprise me to see a young player come in on loan from a team in the top flight.
Again, I’ve been liberal with the winger suggestions, just because they can play out wide won’t mean they will. I think this is the area that, for yet another season, we look light. The recruitment has been good but at the moment, I don’t see a lot of goals in the side. That said, Tom has barely played this season for us, despite being maligned for the outings he did turn in. He was a marquee signing in the winter and I expect us to use him up top. Anthony Scully is one that has got fans excited, but he’ll be eased into proceedings. He struck me as a maverick, a player we all love but who I think will be in and out of the side through no fault of his own. He’s versatile though, which means we have good coverage across the front in one player.
As for Jordan, I think many would like to see him around the squad, but if we do bring at least one in, as expected, he could find himself out on loan. My gut feeling is two more in up top, one possibly permanently and another on loan. That loan market will be tapped into, and thus far everything we’ve done bar TJ has been permanent.
27/08 – Added Theo Archibald to the squad
Bear in mind, I may have added links to this after 11/08, so this conclusion should only be given attention if it is around the date the article came out. I make it a squad of 18, with 16 senior professionals and two youngsters in Jordan and Sean. In addition, Alex Bradley hasn’t kicked a ball for us, making it a squad of perhaps 15 at best. Whilst there is experience in the squad now, there’s no doubt a few new faces will come in.
I believe we’ll add at least four more players over the coming week or two, a couple likely to be permanent and I’d expect a dip into the loan market. I expect the forward line to be bolstered, as well as the wide-area and maybe at centre back too. we definitely need a keeper, so perhaps those four areas will receive attention. As the season draws nearer, it wouldn’t surprise me to see two leave on loan and maybe two more come in to replace them on loan, like for like.