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Bristol Rovers transfer round-up: Former loanee set for League One return, Released duo join National League club, Barton secures double signing



It has been a very productive summer at the Memorial Stadium this summer, with Joey Barton managing to secure the signatures of no less than six players.

But these reinforcements are much-needed with their finish at the foot of the League One table last season and their inability to score regularly – and there seemed to be tensions behind the scenes before a major strategic change.

This change came in on 10th June when Tommy Widdrington was removed as Director of Football and Joey Barton was given more power over transfers – and is perhaps the reason why they have been able to secure a further two signings.

Quiz: What was the score the last time Bristol Rovers played each of these 25 teams?

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What was the score when Bristol Rovers last faced Rochdale?

However, their transfer business at Plough Lane may not be done yet with over two months still left to go until the summer window closes.

We take a look at three transfer developments that have happened over the last week concerning the recently-relegated side.

McCormick to join AFC Wimbledon on a free transfer

Former loanee Luke McCormick is set to sign for third-tier outfit AFC Wimbledon on a free transfer after Chelsea and the Dons agreed a sell-on clause for the 22-year-old, according to the Football Insider.

The midfielder joined Bristol Rovers last September on a season-long loan and scored six goals in 39 appearances, earning him a move in the same tier as the Gas take the drop.

Wimbledon finished in 19th last season, four points clear from safety but without 20-goal Joe Pigott who has already announced his departure from Plough Lane, staying up could be a difficult task next year.

It will be McCormick’s job to improve their chances of survival – and if he does well in south-west London next season – Barton may regret not pushing harder to sign him.

However, this is an ideal move for the 22-year-old in League One and not too far away from Chelsea, where he spent the whole of his youth career as a young Blues player.

Eastleigh signed released Hare and Kelly

Josh Hare and Michael Kelly both completed a move to National League side Eastleigh yesterday, with the pair being released by Joey Barton in the summer.

Hare made 27 appearances on the right side last season, scoring twice and picking up one assist, but the 26-year-old has opted to move down two tiers from where he was in the 2020/21 campaign and will be hoping to get his new side into the fourth tier.

Left-back Kelly is more accustomed to the fifth division of English football, spending time on loan at Yeovil Town in the second half of last season and could excel once again with his teammate Hare on the other side of defence.

If they can guide Eastleigh to League Two and Rovers fail to win promotion next year, the duo could face their former side in the 2022/23 campaign although the Gas will be hoping to go back up under Joey Barton with a fresh start this summer.

Strikers secure Plough Lane move

Since the last Bristol Rovers FLW transfer round-up, Bristol Rovers have secured their fifth and sixth signings of the summer, bringing in Harvey Saunders and Aaron Collins on free transfers.

They join Sam Finley, Paul Coutts, Mark Hughes and Nick Anderton who signed back in May with the Bristol Rovers boss managing the club’s summer rebuild.

And this recent addition of attacking firepower can only help the 38-year-old in his quest to guide the Gas back to League One – with Saunders and Collins scoring 18 competitive goals between them last season.

These early signings will give Barton a full chance to settle his new players in for a full pre-season before their fourth-tier opener against Mansfield on 7th August.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who is set to graduate from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Bristol Rovers transfer round-up: Former loanee set for League One return, Released duo join National League club, Barton secures double signing

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