We’re now 5 games into the season in all competitions and it is looking promising for Notts County.
Having made a few additions in the summer with the window still yet to close, here is my opinion on the signings we have made so far and what they can bring to the squad this season.
So far with the transfer window closing on August 31, Notts have made 13 signings. In depth 2 being goalkeepers, 4 defenders, 5 midfielders and 2 forwards.
Within the 13 signings 2 of these are loan players from the other side of the Trent. Jorge Grant was a fan favourite last season having signed for the Magpies in the January transfer window and was a key player to our survival last season. I think at the top of Alan Hardy’s and Kevin Nolan’s to-do list was to ensure this guy was playing for the Pies for the upcoming 2017-18 season.
So, let’s start with the goalkeepers. We have brought in 2 goalkeepers going by the names of Ross Fitzsimons and Branislav Pindroch.
Fitzsimons was on trial for us during pre-season and we acquired him from Chelmsford. He made his Notts debut against Scunthorpe in the Carabao Cup First Round. He looks to be a commanding individual with good communication amongst his defenders. He looks to be our number 2 this year with Pindroch looking like backup.
With the defenders, most notably Shaun Brisley has joined the Pies on a free transfer from Carlisle United. Brisley so far has made 4 appearances scoring one goal. He has shown real determination and looks a real solid addition alongside Richard Duffy.
Other defender signings include Nicky Hunt from relegated Leyton Orient who was part of Nolan’s squad at his short stint at The O’s.
Dan Jones was also recruited as a full back from Chesterfield, he slipped up big style against Coventry but has turned it around the past couple of games so I think we can write that off as a bad game for him.
Finally, the Pies have recruited Pierce Bird who was unattached. Pierce looks to be a possible loan player in the future but I can see him having a long career here at Notts County.
Moving onto the midfielders. With the 2016-17 season coming to a close in connection with most of the players contracts it was important to strengthen this area and boy has Nolan done that.
We have recruited 5 midfielders - Jorge Grant and Ryan Yates the loanees from Nottingham Forest.
Also, we have Elliot Hodge and Terry Hawkridge from Lincoln City. Terry looks to be a real gem so far with lots of pace and cutting in numerous times, this will really hurt weak teams in the league.
The final midfielder recruited is Liam Walker. Liam has plenty of international experience with Gibraltar against teams such as Germany. Good solid central midfielder with good passing ability.
Finally, the forwards, while offering new contracts to Stead and Ameobi with Forte still being under contract it looked like the area where least additions were needed.
We have made 2 additions. One being up there for signing of the summer Lewis Alessandra from relegated Hartlepool United. So far, he has made 4 appearances for the Magpies scoring one goal and im almost 100% certain that this could reach double figures this season. As well as Alessandra, we have assigned Callum Saunders to the squad from Crewe Alexandra but looks to be a backup striker.
So who is the summer signing so far?
After seeing them in action in the league I am torn between Hawkridge and Grant but for me I think it has to be Grant. Sorry to follow the crowd but Grant is just class for our league. His ability to get in behind but also show flair and skill on the ball is fantastic to see at League 2. He is a game changer and has the ability to secure all 3 points on his own. However, he must learn from players like Stead and Ameobi and learn quickly that he does need the players around him to be the star of the show.
Most questionable signing so far?
Personally, I think Callum Saunders. I have never heard of him before and I do not know what he can bring to the team. Also at the moment I can’t see him replacing any of our first team strikers or even getting on the bench so it just baffles me while he is on the wage bill sitting in the reserves but im not a scout or coach so Nolan must see something.
Let me know what you think about the star and most questionable signing of the summer so far. Can Notts improve any more areas or should we call it quits on our recruitment this summer?