Something that surprised me when reviewing League Two was how few fee’s are actually paid between clubs. Most players are released, and move between for free. There are a lot of youngsters coming down from Premier League teams, who have not quite made the grade, and it’s much the same this summer. Here are my top 10 signings so far:
1. Cristian Montano (Bristol Rovers, Winger)
A West Ham academy graduate, who was involved in a match fixing scam – although never proven. He was sacked by Oldham for that, which for me was harsh. He is very quick, and has an eye for goal. With a regular run in the first team he could bag double figures. So far he has scored 10 in 78 football league games having never appeared for West Ham at senior level.
2. Barry Corr (Cambridge, Striker)
Corr left Southend at the end of the season – much to the despair of Southend fans and the club themselves. He had scored 50 goals in 155 games for Southend, and was among the top scorers last season with 15. Cambridge have signed a very good player, which along with a few others has boosted them to one of the favourites for the title.
3. Paul McCallum (Leyton Orient, Striker)
Another West Ham youth player who never appeared for them. 11 goals in 36 loan appearances in 6 loan spells – but now he has a solid club who will give him chances, he should do well. Until 2011 he was playing for Dulwich Hamlet, and the Premier League does not appear to be his level – League 2 might be, and I think he will do well!
4. Adam Campbell (Notts County, Striker/Winger)
As a Newcastle fan, I know all about this flame-haired young lad. At a young age he won the Nike MVP award at a youth tournament, and previous winners included Ronaldo, Messi etc – but since then he has not progressed at all, with attitude possibly being an issue. He had a trial with WBA, but has gone down the pyramid to start afresh. He could be a great shout for top scorer, if he gets the starts. A top finisher who’s career has been very different had he been given a decent loan spell at a club where he be played.
5. Medy Elito (Newport, Winger)
Elito was seen as a huge talent a few years ago, and was a regular scoring in league two – 18 in 126 for Dagenham & Redbridge before he moved to VVV last season. Pace, skills – he is a very good attacking option and can cover all positions behind the striker position, and could supply Lenell John-Lewis well throughout the season.
6. Gil Swerts (Notts County, Right Back/Right Midfield)
The Belgian right-sided player is an ex-international, with 17 caps and a career in the Eredivisie for the vast majority. A player with huge experience will help the side in their push for promotion back at the first attempt.
7. Kemar Roofe (Oxford, Forward)
Roofe spent 6 months with Oxford last season and scored 6 in 16, playing in an advanced role. At just 22, he should have a very good career in the lower leagues, and could even work his way back up to the Premier League. Clearly talented, but never given a chance at the top level like so many others.
8. Brett Williams (Stevenage, Striker)
Williams has come in from Aldershot, where he scored 43 goals in 99 games over a 2 season spell. He rejected a deal from his old club to return to the Football League after a £50,000 deal to Reading didn’t work out a few years ago. At 27 he could be a very good signing for Teddy Sheringham’s side, and although they will be hard pushed to make it into the promotion spots, but Williams could hit as many as 20.
9. Liam Sercombe (Oxford, Central Midfielder)
Sercombe spent 8 seasons with his boyhood club Exeter, and is well known for his box-to-box style and long-range spectacular goals. He was a linch-pin in their midfield for many years, and at 25 should be a very good addition for Oxford, who are among the top three favourites for the title. He will be a key-man for them this season!
10. Paddy McCourt (Luton, Winger)
Gordon Strachan once said that McCourt was the most naturally talented player he had ever seen. He has Champions League experience, and has won titles with Celtic. He is also a Northern Irish international, even at 31 could still being very good in this league.
Finally for League 2, we have the top 10 players to watch out for. There are some kids in there who will be coming through, and a few you will not have heard of. That will be up in the morning, and then we move into League One!