Five Areas Michael Appleton Will Surely Look at This Summer



Credit Graham Burrell

Alex Palmer has been a great signing for us, but he will go back to West Brom. If they get relegated, I guess he could well be their number one next season, or number two at a push, as they’ll cash in on Sam Johnstone. If they stay up, I suspect they might look for a Championship placement for him, so it would still be tough to get him back.

I’m a big fan of loaning in a young keeper and I’ve seen how it worked well for Shrewsbury in the past (Dean Henderson), and Plymouth (Matt Macey was on loan there from Arsenal). Swindon struggled with Matej Kovar from Man United though, so there is no hard and fast rule to getting it right.

From what I hear, Ethan Ross is doing the business at Weymouth, but is he ready to put that into practice in League One? Maybe, maybe not, but we have Sam Long who will doubtless be backup against next season, so that leaves a place to be filled. I’d love to see us find a Matt Gilks figure, someone who can help develop Sam alongside Steve Croudson, but that’s not the Appleton way, is it? What I do expect is for him to find a loan keeper from the top flight who is in his early 20s, a year or two ahead of Sam, to help aid his progression.