Following on from their successful promotion campaign, Coventry will be looking to sustain league One football next season, before moving up even further if at all possible.
Once upon a time they were staples of the top flight, staying there longer than Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea. After they lifted the 1987 FA Cup they looked as though they might finally break into the country’s elite sides.
Instead they left Highfield Road and ended up on a one-way road to the bottom division, a far cry from the level they were used to. The Premier League years have been kind to some team, but they whipped Coventry City until there was nothing left.
That is history now, the future is Mark Robins and League One, but fate hasn’t been kind to them this time around either. After a battling revival via the play-offs in League Two, they’ve lost 25-goal Marc McNulty to Reading ahead of the new season. With less than a month to go until the new season, the lowest scoring promoted side just lost 40% of their goals from last season.
The race is on to find a replacement, a £250,000 bid for Conor Chaplin of Portsmouth has been turned down and they may be going back with an increased bid. If they were prudent, they might have a look at another promoted side from last season and think about splashing the cash elsewhere.
Accrington Stanley surprised everyone by winning the League Two title last season, finishing five points clear of Luton Town in second place. They did so via hard work, a strong team ethic and the goals of Billy Kee. Now, as a League One side, they face a battle for survival, but in Kee they have a player who can produce that all important currency of football; goals.
What they don’t have is money, they were punching above their weight in League Two, but with promotion comes fresh pressures. They’ve made two singings this summer, both free transfers. Will Wood has come from Southampton whilst Piero Mingoia has returned from Cambridge. He played just 25 times for the U’s in League Two.
Accrington need money, Coventry need a striker. 27-year old Billy Kee scored 26 in 52 matches last season, following on from the 15 he scored in the previous season. He’s approaching his prime and maybe, just maybe could improve his career opportunities by leaving Accrington.
If Coventry produced £350,000 of that McNulty money and offered it to Accrington, they’d be foolish not to consider. Stanley need to recruit if they’re going to remain in the third tier and they’ve got Kayden Jackson who is worth a goal or two this season.
As for Coventry, whilst they’re looking up for their recruitment, it might not hurt to remember where they’ve just come from. Billy Kee scored more goals than their £1m man last season and if they invest that wisely, there’s no reason why Kee couldn’t be worth the same in a season’s time.
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