Not long to go before the squad reassemble for the rigours of Pre-Season, which will be Michael Beale’s first full pre-season with the squad.
This is where the real work for the season will be done, where Beale and his staff work on shape, formations, plus individual coaching/programmes.
It’s also the time that new signings get integrated with the squad, and build relationships both on & off the field.
As touched on before, our close season work in the transfer market started off well, but it has slowed down – this could be due to the international football window, players on holiday, players about to go on holiday, but the squad as a whole still needs reinforcements, along with players being moved on.
GK – Butland, McCrorie, McLaughlin & Wright. McLaughlin will be gone, issue is trying to find a buyer or find a mutual deal suited to both parties that allows the parting of the ways. Good competition for the number 1 spot.
RB – Tav and Sterling, also have Devine as back up but I suspect he’ll go out on loan or leave all together. How much of an impact will Sterling have, will he get a chance?
LB – Borna and Yilmaz, also have young Fraser too but with no Lowland league he’ll look for loans for development. With Borna and Yilmaz that’s good competition, both international players with both able to push either one on.
CB – Goldson, Souttar, Davies, King – not good enough, need one or two leaders to come in here based on Davies not being good enough, injury issues with Goldson & Souttar, and with King still not convincing enough.
DM/CM – Jack, Lundstrum, Raskin, Kamara – Kamara will leave soon, plus Lundstrum only has a year left on contract so decision is needed soon on him. Jack also is not the player of old, so overall need a few more bodies in here.
CM/AM – Cantwell, Hagi, Dowell, Lowry, Lawrence – on paper it looks like strength in depth here, but peel back the recent injuries to Hagi, Lawrence and Lowry, it’s a situation that will need to be closely looked out.
WIG – Sakala, Wright, Matondo – Wright is expected to move on, so I expect to see one or two players to come in here!!
There are one or two youngsters who could be included on this rota, but not sure what their future is in terms of being first team players/candidates- like Mayo, Williamson, McPake, Ure, Rice, Lovelace, Stevens, Lyall.
Even if those boys were included, it’s still not a strong enough squad.
Beale & the board need to get to work fast to ensure that we hit the ground running both domestically & in Europe.