Last week we took advantage of the dispensation granted to us in the Summer, allowing us to sign players outside the transfer window. And what a statement signing it was!
Andy Cannon’s loan spell at Stockport last season was an important part of their success in the title battle, and The Hatters wanted to make the move permanent.
Now he’s with us, and bringing a player in directly from The Championship is a comment on how we’re continuing to aim higher and higher.
We’ll hopefully get a first chance to see Cannon in a Wrexham shirt on Saturday, weather permitting.
On paper, Cannon looks like a terrific addition to our midfield options, and he’s already shown what he can do at The Racecourse. He made the first start of his loan spell at Stockport against us in the FA Trophy semi-final, and looked very impressive. Then, after an hour, they inexplicably took him off and we took control of the game and won!
He showed in that game his attributes: tidy on the ball, able to drift around and find space to make himself available to keep a move flowing, and capable of posing a goal threat with both long shots and off the ball runs into the area.
His arrival means we have six central midfielders who could all legitimately claim that they ought to be playing at a higher level. Not so long ago we’d have been delighted to have two of them at the same time!
Whether we’ll see increased rotation in the middle of the park now is an interesting point to ponder. Will Parkinson essentially pair his options and select one from each category as the season wears on? Tom O’Connor and Cannon have the ideal qualities for a number six, although both are capable of playing higher up the pitch, James Jones and Luke Young are tireless number eights, and the creativity of Jordan Davies and Elliot Lee make them more like number tens. Pick any one from each category and I’d argue you’ve a top-of-the-table standard midfield.
While there are no gaping holes in our squad, we still might look to make further reinforcements to prepare us for the second half of the season. We’ve had sustained injuries in the wing-back slots, for example, and although the quality in depth is present, it might be wise to draft another player in who is ready to go immediately, while the likes of Reece Hall-Johnson, Jacob Mendy and Bryce Hosannah continue their recovery and build up their match sharpness.
Also, the ease with which Elliot Lee has slotted into a deeper position means we might need to look for a new striker. Previously, Parkinson has used Sam Dalby and Lee as his back-up strikers, but with Lee now such a crucial part of our midfield, it’s hard to see him wanting to push him back into the front two.
Things are building up nicely, and I suspect we’re about to see the true value of the extra freedom afforded to us in the transfer market.