Vallejo, Brown, Blackman, Campbell, Sarr and Eiting all left with their contracts coming to an end. There continues to be speculation about O’Brien leaving and less so speculation about Toffolo, Holmes and Nicholls. I’m sure that Town would not want to sell any of them but at the end of the day every player has their price.
Looking at the free agents released by Championship clubs there could be a number that are of interest to Town:-
Alex Smithies (Cardiff). I know there has been a recent trend of ex-players coming back to the club and that doesn’t always guarantee that they will be a success the second time around. This one makes sense provided the salary is right. Alex still has ties to the Town, he has experience at this level, he will not unsettle things by being second choice and is a more than capable replacement for Nicholls when needed. Likelihood of being completed 8 out of 10.
Andre Gray (Watford). Gray would offer a physical and quick presence in the attacking line if signed but his wage demands are probably beyond Town. Would definitely add something extra. Likelihood of being completed 2 out of 10.
Romaine Sawyers (WBA). Always been highly rated but struggled to realise his full potential. Could be a player to play in the number 10 position and offer much needed support to the front man. I’m not too sure though that he would be a good fit at Town. Likelihood of being completed 3 out of 10.
Looking at the free agents released by the premier league teams there aren’t many that are realistic apart from the youngsters that are a unknown contingent, however Conor may be worth a look:-
Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa). Always rated Conor and he has experience at Premier League and Championship level. Good striker of a free kick which whilst we have done well with set-plays this season we have lacked with taking shots direct from free kicks. Conor would be a good addition but salary may be an issue. I think he is more likely to pop up somewhere like West Brom. Likelihood of being completed 4 out of 10.
Will Jaaskelainen (Crewe). Jaaskelainen is still young at 23 and has clocked up a few lower league clubs and gained experience. Provided he knows that he is not first choice he could be a good addition to the squad of keepers. Available on a free and would not demand a large salary. Could be worth a punt. Likelihood of being completed 4 out of 10.
Kyle Hudlin (Solihill Moors). We have been linked to Kyle for a few weeks now. He may not be one for the first team this season but could offer us a little of something different standing at 6 feet 10 inch he would tower over others and provide a focal point of attack. Provided players got close to him for the knock downs it would give us a different dimension. Likelihood of signing 9 out of 10.
Jessie Debrah (Halifax). Another one which it has been rumoured for a few weeks that we are due to sign. The tall central defender would provide further strength in depth but in a position which he would unlikely be in the first team often. Perhaps signed for the B team and see how he develops. Likelihood of him signing 7 out of 10.
There are a number of players which I would like us to sign from the Championship such as Keane Lewis-Potter, but we would be no more appealing then many other destinations for players. From League One there is Scott Twine from MK Dons. Scott had a very good season and is very adaptable. Players as a front man but does like to drop back into the number 10 type of role. We do need some younger players in our attack and Scott has git some experience and comes off the back of a very strong season. I think he would be a very good acquisition but MK Dons are unlikely to be willing to part with him cheaply.
On the loan front I am sure there will be a number of good quality youngsters about from the Premier League teams. Young James McAtee from Manchester City is one which there have been a lot of rumours will be on his way to Town. I am unsure how much playing he will get though so it will depend upon what the terms are of the deal. Troy Parrott currently at Spurs would be a good shout and fill the gap left by Sinani. I feel he would offer us more than Sinani did and after a loan to League One last season Spurs are likely to want him operating at a higher level this term.
I don’t expect there to be a lot of movement over the summer but in the coming weeks we will see.