Season 2 – Building a Team to Stay Up.

So.

Premier League Football.

It was my intention to bring in players at the end of season 1, that would be of a standard better than the Championship, and would be good enough to survive that first season in the Premier League.

As luck would have it, I’d got scouts out all over Europe, building the lists of players we’d target for the next season, with the intention of keeping a mainly homegrown core, with additions from across Europe.

Before we got there though, we had to deal with player releases and retirements.

Steele and Dawson both joined the coaching staff, Dawson in the U18s, and Steele as first team Goalkeeping coach replacing Manu Sotelo.


Incomings

Joel Pereira made his loan deal from Manchester United permanent, joining on a 3 year deal for £1.8m, I thought that we’d have to pay a lot more for him, but, he was keen to come as well.

His backup for 2020/21 will be Joe Lumley. The 25 year old was on the transfer list at QPR, and comes in on a 3 year deal. He’ll get cup games, and the odd league game.

Defensively, Ukrainian left back, Vasyl Kravets joins on a 2 year deal from Lugo in Spain. At the moment, he has no work permit, so will go back out to Spain in the hope of getting international appearances, although, he only needs another 300 days to gain Spanish nationality as well.

We’re still looking for first choice centre halves, as Bustinza will be targetted, and Figueiredo, although being a very good centre half, may struggle if his colleagues are struggling. Good centre halves come at a premium, and Jake Clarke-Salter will step up a lot as well.

Irish defender Timi Sobowale joins from Man City, and goes into the Under 23s, and has gone on loan to Exeter for the season to continue his development.

Also coming in, is 18 year old Argentine/Italian centre half, Mario Diaz. He joins from Estudiantes in his home nation, and has gone to Wycombe for the season.

In midfield, Ryan Gauld joins on a free from Sporting Lisbon, along with 17 year old Aarón Valdés, for £2.1m from Rayo Vallecano.

20 year old Callum Styles comes in from Barnsley for just over £1m, and heads down into the Midlands and Coventry for the season.

Other domestic signings include Josh Martin and Jordan McEneff from Arsenal, D’Mani Bughail-Mellor and Dion McGhee from Manchester United, Rafael Camacho from Liverpool, Alfie Lewis and Toni Martinez from West Ham and Clinton Mola from Chelsea.

Martinez has been highlighted as one who will play in the Premier League, and will go out on loan, probably to the Championship or a higher League One club.

Spanish right winger Nacho Gil joins on a free transfer from Valencia, and Dennis Man joins for £4.1m from FCSB in his native Romania. He spent last season on loan at Stuttgart in the Bundesliga, and will be first choice.

The last monetary signing so far, is 20 year old Portuguese winger, Mário Ferreira, who joins for £1m from Liga NOS side Vitória Guimarães. He’ll be backup to Cody Gakpo.

The last improvements have been up front, with 2 strikers coming in, and another one returning.

Mason Greenwood extended his loan deal for another season, and will test himself against Premier League defences.

Also arriving is Italian striker Alessandro Rossi, coming on a free from Salernitana, and Spanish striker Carlos Fernandez, who arrives from Sevilla on a free transfer.

There are more irons in the fire, but, they’ll come in the future.