League Two side Oldham Athletic are considering moves for free-agent duo Chris McCann and Billy Clarke, a report from journalist Alan Nixon has suggested.
Midfielder McCann and striker Clarke are both available on free transfers following their departures from MLS side DC United and the Latics’ League Two rivals Bradford City respectively during the summer.
Now however, it appears as though the pair could be in contention to link up with Oldham, after reportedly featuring in a behind closed doors game for the club earlier this week.
Oldham. Had a look at Chris McCann and Billy Clarke in a private game yesterday. Both free agents.
— Alan Nixon (@reluctantnicko) October 2, 2019
It has been a difficult start to the season for Oldham, who currently lie 20th in League Two after winning just two of their opening 11 league games of the season, meaning McCann and Clarke could be useful recruits for Dino Maamria’s side going forward.
Here, we take a look at three reasons why this double swoop could make perfect sense for the Latics.
It would provide some much-needed experience
As it stands, it is a pretty young side that Oldham currently have to work with.
With only four players in the squad – David Wheater; Filipe Morais; Chris Eagles and Urko Vera Mateos – currently over the age of 30, it does seem as though the squad are lacking in experience somewhat.
Indeed, having already thrown away two 2-0 leads in the league this season, it does seem as though Oldham could benefit from some extra experience in order to help them see games out.
With both McCann and Clarke – who are also over 30 – having been around for a long time now, it could be argued that they would be able to do that, with McCann’s control in the centre of the park and Clarke’s attacking outlet potentially helping them to relieve pressure on their defence late in games.
They have the quality to compete at this level
It is worth noting that these aren’t players who have simply gained that experience in the lower levels of English football either.
McCann has spent plenty of his career in the Championship with Burnley and Wigan, and even made a handful of appearances in the Premier League for the Clarets.
Clarke meanwhile has spent plenty of time in both the Championship and League One, and has enjoyed some solid returns in both divisions.
You feel therefore, that both players would still be able to compete for Oldham at fourth-tier level, potentially helping to lift them further away from the relegation zone this season.
There isn’t much financial risk
Much has been made of the financial troubles certain clubs have endured in recent months, although you would hope that this wouldn’t have much of an impact on Oldham in that respect.
With both players without a club, there are unlikely to be any transfer fees involved, and given they have been without a club for several months now, the desire to return to action for these two means that wages may not be expensive as they may otherwise have been.
This therefore, feels like a deal that should be reasonably affordable for Oldham to complete.