Since their play-off final win against Lincoln City in May, Blackpool have been very busy in the transfer market, securing the signatures of seven new players.
Josh Bowler, Sonny Carey, Oliver Casey, Callum Connolly, Daniel Grimshaw, Reece James and Shayne Lavery have all arrived at Bloomfield Road, with all but Carey and Casey coming in on free transfers.
This could give manager Neil Critchley the chance to make even more signings as he looks to build a side capable of competing in the second tier – and there are likely to be a few more arrivals before their Championship opener against Bristol City next month as the Lancashire side look to add strength in depth.
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It will be a tough ask for the Seasiders to stay afloat in the second tier after a six-year absence, but under an exciting manager like Critchley who’s not afraid to give younger players a chance, anything could happen if they add a few more faces.
Ahead of these potential arrivals, let’s take a look at three recent transfer developments at Blackpool in the last few days.
Huddersfield battle with Blackpool for Gabriel
According to Alan Nixon, Blackpool will have to fend off interest from fellow Championship side Huddersfield Town if they want to secure the permanent signing of Nottingham Forest full-back Jordan Gabriel.
The 22-year-old spent last season with Neil Critchley’s side, making 27 League One appearances last season and after making a good impression at Bloomfield Road, could now be set to jump up a tier with the two second-tier outfits interested in him.
Critchley has already moved to strengthen this defence with the signings of left-back Reece James and centre-backs Oliver Casey and Callum Connolly despite Daniel Ballard not returning, and could now be set to add a right-back to their repertoire in a ruthless defensive makeover.
With a tough Championship season coming up though, who could blame them for building a solid defensive base? It could be a shrewd addition especially with Gabriel not being given a chance at Forest and Blackpool possibly able to negotiate a cut-price deal because of that.
Seasiders set to lose Millar to Basel
As per James Pearce’s report from The Athletic, Basel have agreed a £1.3m fee with Liverpool to bring 21-year-old winger Liam Millar to Switzerland.
The Canadian played 27 times for Charlton Athletic after joining the Addicks in January for a five-month loan spell and became a key part of their successful second half of last season.
In fact, the League One side lost just one of their latter 15 league games of the campaign and only missed out on the play-offs on goal difference.
With this, manager Nigel Adkins publicly stated he wanted to bring the winger back to The Valley – but Neil Jones from Goal confirmed parent club Liverpool wanted to send him out on loan to the Championship for next season – putting Blackpool on red alert.
New York Red Bulls, Odense, Blackpool, Basel and Charlton Athletic were all said to be interested in his services, making the Lancashire side firm favourites to sign Millar if the Canadian opted to stay in England.
But the Swiss side now look to have won the race.
Tommy Johnson departs
On Saturday, it was announced Head of Recruitment Tommy Johnson had left the club to ‘pursue other opportunities’, potentially disrupting the Championship side’s transfer progress after making such a good start to the window.
However, Neil Critchley is likely to be fully involved in the recruitment process and from his time as Liverpool Under-23s manager, could have potentially spotted a few young hidden gems to personally pursue while the transition at the club occurs.
Recently-appointed Head of Football Operations John Stephenson is now set to take control of the club’s transfer strategy in place of Johnson and will be hoping to build on the former Head of Recruitment’s great start to the window.
He has just over a month to make an impact before the start of the new league campaign – and may need to target an alternative winger with Millar seemingly on his way to Switzerland.