I’ve read a lot of panic-stricken fans on here in the last few days worrying about the lack of movement on transfers. And yes, the squad’s shed a lot of people with relatively few new arrivals - just one senior player in fact.
First of all, let’s look at the idea that we’re moving slower than other teams in League One. In terms of raw numbers, that’s true. But have you seen who those other clubs are actually signing? I’ve had a look, and only Charlton have done business that I’d actually be envious of, and a) they’ve still only brought in three players, and b) one of those was George Dobson. I’ve not seen many other players moving to League One clubs where I’ve thought, “Gosh, they’d have been great for us.”
Secondly, let’s bear in mind that we have players coming back into the squad who, in terms of their usefulness to us last season, will effectively be new players. Xhemajli in defence, Embleton in midfield. Hopefully we’ll see more of Diamond and Neil next season too. And Younger. And Kimpioka. Maybe a starting role for Ross Stewart up top - he looked decent in his relatively few appearances!
So when I read that we need 12 new players in, I respectfully disagree. Obviously Hume’s situation needs sorting, but then:
New RB (Lichaj?) plus maybe a second if we decide O’Nien’s now a midfielder.
New LB (always a difficult one this - they need to be good enough to cover for Hume (i.e. not McFadzean) BUT happy to mainly sit on the bench. A tricky conundrum).
New CB (ideally Sanderson - me, I’d offer Wolves and him anything up to £4m and £10k per week, I think he’s that good, but even that might not be enough if a top Championship club comes in and offers him a decent amount of football).
New CM plus maybe a second if we decide O’Nien’s now a full back.
New AM with pace.
New CF (Pigott?).
I make that seven new players. Not insignificant, but not the total ground up rebuild described by some. Then by January, hopefully Willis to return and strengthen where new gaps have emerged or opportunities present themselves.
Obviously we’ve all been here before - a long wait before any movement and we all start to get twitchy. But you know when that didn’t happen? 2013. By this stage we’d signed eight players. And do you know who they were?
Watmore. Karlsson. Diakite. Roberge. Cabral. Mannone. Altidore. Ba.
Maybe better to sign the right players a bit later than you’d have wanted?
Keep the faith. For the first time in about ten years, it feels like it might not be misplaced.