This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more
Blackpool are among a host of clubs interested in signing Marvin Johnson on a free transfer.
As per Yorkshire Live, Blackpool, Hull, Millwall have joined Sheffield Wednesday in the race to sign Johnson.
The 30-year-old made 42 appearances in the Championship for Middlesbrough last season, scoring three goals and adding five assists.
The left-sided midfielder, capable of playing as a winger or as a full-back, left the Riverside at the end of last season upon the expiry of his contract.
Now, a host of Championship sides are interested in landing his signature on a free transfer, with Blackpool among those in pursuit.
Here, we discuss this potential arrival at Bloomfield Road…
Although Neil Critchley works well with younger players and has gone on to place his faith in youth even since leaving the Liverpool U23s to join Blackpool, they also need Championship experience.
Richard Keogh has already helped to do that, but you can never have too much experience especially in this young Blackpool team who faced the daunting task of trying to stay afloat in the second-tier next term.
With someone like Johnson who has already competed in Sheffield United’s 2018/19 promotion-winning campaign and has done well with Middlesbrough in the past couple of seasons, his signing will go a long way in boosting their chances of survival.
Josh Bowler has already arrived at Bloomfield Road this summer but with the departure of Liam Feeney, who was a vital asset for the Seasiders in the season before last, they need an option out wide who’s going to run at Championship defenders, provide protection to his full-back, be an example to others in the dressing room and stay fit.
Johnson will do all of those things if he joins the Lancashire side this summer, so it’s a signing they should look to beat the likes of Hull and Sheffield Wednesday to.
How Marvin Johnson is still a free agent surprises me beyond belief. He is an excellent player at Championship level and still has a few more years to prove himself in the second-tier of English football.
His technical ability still ranks amongst one of the highest in the division, making it seem surprising that he came up through the non-league route. He is also a constant attacking threat no matter how deep he is deployed.
Johnson offers versatility and a wealth of Championship experience – two vital components for a newly promoted Championship club. In what is shaping up to be a very competitive Championship line-up, Johnson can certainly make a real difference.
There are a number of clubs who are in pursuit and the fact that an established Championship club like Millwall are monitoring his situation could make it difficult to strike a deal.
Neil Critchley has done an excellent job at Blackpool thus far and the project that he has embarked on, and is building, will certainly be a tempting one.
Quiz: What was the score the last time Blackpool played at each of these 24 stadiums?
This has all the making of an excellent potential signing for Blackpool to make this summer and Marvin Johnson is a player that it would have to be worthwhile signing given he is available on a free transfer. The 30-year-old’s versatility of being able to operate down on the wing, as a wing-back and as a forward means that he would be able to provide cover in multiple positions.
The winger has a lot of Championship experience now from his time with Middlesbrough and he proved that he can be a threat going forwards last term by registering three goals and four assists in his 42 league appearances. That suggests that he would be able to offer a potentially vital extra attacking spark for the Tangerines.
Neil Critchley has managed to improve the vast majority of players that he has worked with on the training ground during his time in charge of Blackpool. Johnson perhaps at times needs to find some consistency in terms of his end product and if that could be developed then he would be a real threat to opponents.
There is competition for his signature, but these are the sorts of players that Blackpool can now attract to the club following their promotion last term. If they could win the race for his signature it would be an excellent addition to their squad.