League One outfit Plymouth Argyle are closing in on securing a play-off spot as the season enters its latter stages, in what would be a huge achievement for the Pilgrims following a mid-season managerial change.
A lot of uncertainty was created at Home Park when Ryan Lowe left to join Championship outfit Preston North End back in December – but the familiar Steven Schumacher has stepped into his first senior head coach role magnificently and is getting the very best out of his first-team squad.
He could have easily left the third-side side when Lowe departed – but is determined to finish the project he helped to kickstart and that final destination could be the Championship if he continues in the same vein.
Quiz: Did Plymouth Argyle sign these 26 players for a fee or a free?
That will create complications for his transfer plans though – because he may be unclear what league his side will be competing in until the latter stages of May if they reach the play-off final – not exactly ideal considering the 2022/23 season starts in late July due to the 2022 World Cup later this year.
It may be a mad dash for the Pilgrims to secure some of their top targets between those two dates in that case – and regardless of whether they are in the second or third tier – the free-agent market will certainly come in handy for them as they look to remain financially responsible.
With this in mind, we have picked three out-of-contract players they could target in the summer.
This may be a risk considering he was suffering from a long-term injury not so long ago, but you just feel the centre-back has so much potential that could be unlocked with more playing time if he’s let go by Sunderland.
Whether Callum Doyle returns to the Stadium of Light on another loan spell from Manchester City next season could be integral in deciding the Kosovan’s fate, so it remains to be seen whether he will be available in the first place.
But at 23 and with the opportunity to replace current loanee Romoney Crichlow who will probably be heading back to Huddersfield Town when the season ends, it may be worth taking a one-year punt on the centre-back with the option of a further 12 months if he can remain fit.
He would get plenty of first-team opportunities if Schumacher retains a back three and this could make a move to Home Park attractive for the defender who will want to play as much first-team football as possible in a bid to fulfil his potential.
This would be a real coup for the Pilgrims if they were able to pull this deal off – but you have to feel they would either need to offer him second-tier football or a big pay packet if he is to move away from Charlton.
But whilst his contract continues to run down, there is still a possibility of recruiting him in the summer and this would be a great move with Jordan Garrick on course to return to Swansea City at the end of the campaign.
As well as this, Ryan Hardie isn’t likely to be short of interest in the summer after scoring 16 league goals already this term and with Luke Jephcott only 22, someone may end up taking a punt on him also.
So regardless of who they recruit, the forward department definitely needs strengthening considerably if they want to be successful again next term and the addition of the experienced Washington can only be good for the promotion chasers.
At 29, he still has plenty of years left in the tank but has the necessary experience needed to be a real goalscoring threat in Devon, though it may take a big offer and a series of unexpected events for this move to materialise.
The ball is very much in Fulham’s court on this one, with Marco Silva’s men having the option to trigger a 12-month extension on his current deal at Craven Cottage if they wish to.
With the right-sided player turning 22 though and Silva recruiting in this position with Neco Williams coming in to compete with Kenny Tete, the Plymouth loanee’s future in the English capital looks bleak.
This is where the Pilgrims could pounce – because it was clear they needed a right wing-back to provide competition for Joe Edwards and although Sessegnon hasn’t made as many appearances as he would probably want to – he seems settled and could certainly become a real asset in the third tier.
He also has the potential to play in the second tier too and this is why a permanent approach could be ideal, though he will want to play more often considering he’s only appeared six times for Schumacher’s side thus far.
If he does sign, you certainly would rule out the possibility of the club selling him on for a lot more in the future, another reason why they should seriously consider this possible deal.