Monday, 4 September 2023

I'm trying to do this in context, comparing the squad to last season, so I'm basing this off…

Transfers Out

Thomas Kaminski

Ashley Phillips

Ben Brereton Diaz

Bradley Dack

John Buckley (loan)

Daniel Ayala

Jack Vale (loan)

Tyler Morton (end of loan)

Sorba Thomas (end of loan)

Clinton Mola (end of loan)

Tayo Edun

James Brown

Dan Butterworth

In italics I've put players who played an active part in our season. I make that nine first team players out, two squad players out and two players out that made no impact (were out on loan). So I'll base it on eleven squad players leaving.

Transfers In

Leopold Wahlstedt

Sondre Tonstad

Niall Ennis

Semir Telalovic

Tom Bloxham

Arnor Sigurdsson (loan)

James Hill (loan)

Andy Moran (loan)

All of these are assumed to be squad players at least. Therefore I'm basing my assessment on losing eleven squad players and gaining eight squad players which is a -3 deficit. 

1) Kaminski - Wahlstedt: Hard to judge any success yet, but exactly what the 'system' is about so in principle a good signing.

2) Phillips - Hill: Replaced one promising youngster with another, although we don't own this one. It sounds like we got the best deal we could for Phillips, so no qualms there. A shame we haven't replaced him with a permanent signing, but Hill could easily be as effective as Phillips was for us. A good signing in principle, but unfortunately a short term signing. 

3) Brereton - Sigurdsson: In principle Arnor has a better worldwide reputation and we've done well to sign him. There's some confusion as to whether we're going to get Arnor permanently after his 12-month deal. If we do, in principle this is could well be a good signing. If he leaves next year then we've not managed to replace our best player. 

4) Dack - Moran: Replaced an experienced player on a big salary that has had injury issues with a highly rated loan for 12 months. A good short term answer, but I can't see a world where we sign Moran so this will need filling again next year. 

5) Buckley - Tronstad: Tronstad has good pedigree, but hasn't shown much yet. Buckley is a different player than Sondre, so this signing seems to be a change of direction. I'm not convinced as yet.

6) Ayala - Not Replaced: A huge hole in our squad. Whilst Ayala had injury issues, the defence is lacking in experience and we're already seeing lack of depth in this area becoming and issue. A bad decision.

7) Vale - Telalovic: An unknown player replaces a player who I don't think is anywhere near good enough. Hopefully this was cheap. Not a bad decision based on the fact that Vale wasn't good enough to start with. 

8) Morton - Not Replaced: Would in principle be fine if we had kept Buckley. Despite Morton not setting the world on fire we've essentially replaced two 'creative' central midfielders with one 'defensive' midfielder in Tronstad. A worry I'm sure we would all agree. 

9) Ennis: We needed more strikers and Ennis comes in to fill that gap. In principle a good signing - he was Plymouth's best player when fit and comes on a free. His injury record is a concern especially considering his start here. 

In principle I make that a 6/10 window. I think we've signed some decent players, although there's a lot of short term thinking - which makes sense given the owners' financial issues. The biggest issue is we're at least two key players down (Ayala, Morton) although we're one up as a striker (Ennis) and three of the players (Sigurdsson, Moran and Hill) are potentially short term.


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