Blackpool can be happy with their start to the season. But they’ll know with 35 more matches, it will be wise to use the upcoming January transfer window to strengthen their squad.
The Lancashire club sit in 12th having taken 15 points from their opening 11 matches – only three points off the play-offs. Neil Critchley has guided his side to impressive wins over Fulham and local rivals Blackburn Rovers.
However, with January less than two months away, clubs up and down the Football League will be looking to use it to get an upper hand for the second half of the season and the all-important run-in. The Tangerines will be no different as they will be looking to use the window to help consolidate safety this season.
Here is a look at three Blackpool transfer decisions Critchley will have to make.
Sell Teddy Howe?
Some Blackpool fans won’t recognise Howe due to his lack of first-team opportunities. The defender joined from Reading in January 2020 but is yet to feature for the first-team – Howe spent the second half of last season on loan at League Two Scunthorpe United where he made 12 appearances.
Unfortunately for the former Reading man, things just haven’t worked out for him so far at Blackpool and the Seasiders should cut their losses. He doesn’t seem to be part of Critchley’s plans and they should recoup whatever money they can before his value deteriorates more.
Add forward depth?
Blackpool have some good forward options with a range of skill sets. Shayne Lavery has settled in nicely and Jerry Yates bagged his first goal from open play in the last match. Behind these two, Critchley has Oliver Sarkic, Joe Nuttal, Gary Madine and loanee Tyreece John-Jules at his disposal. With Madine now 31-years-old, the club would be wise to bring in a young target man to replace him.
Loan some players out?
Oliver Casey hasn’t featured as much as he would have liked. After getting his move to Pool following his starring role in Leeds United’s U23s promotion, he would no doubt have liked more first-team opportunities. So far, he is yet to make his Championship debut for Blackpool after impressing in their two EFL Cup matches. With Callum Connolly able to return to being a centre back option following the signing of Jordan Gabriel and the loan signing of Dujon Sterling, Casey can find first-team opportunities without harming Blackpool’s depth.
Cameron Antwi is another player who may seek a loan move away. The Cameroonian’s one match this season came in the EFL Cup in the 3-2 loss to Sunderland. Critchley has a plethora of midfield options at the moment, so Antwi is unlikely to get many opportunities this season if he stays at Bloomfield Road.