Boss Hasselbaink happy as he adds youth and pace to Cobblers squad

New Cobblers loan signing Gboly Ariyibi (Picture: Pete Norton)
New Cobblers loan signing Gboly Ariyibi (Picture: Pete Norton)

A quick scan of the new signings that Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has made to date in the January transfer window, and there is a clear pattern that emerges.

Of the six outfield players brought in, it is noticeable they are nearly all aged in their early 20s, they are all athletic, fit and have a bit of pace about them, and a couple of exceptions aside, they all have 100 or more senior games under their belts.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

All that is certainly no coincidence.

Ahead of Saturday's big Sky Bet League One clash with Milton Keynes Dons, Hasselbaink says it was crucial he brought down the average age of the Cobblers squad, but he also had to bring in players that would hit the ground running and help the team climb away from the relegation zone.

"It was important to make the squad younger, and it was important to put players in place for the future, and for the long term," said Hasselbaink, who this week brought in two new players in left-back Joe Bunney and winger Gboly Ariyibi.

"On top of that we wanted to bring in people to add to the competition and to the quality as well, that is what we are trying to do.

"But it was important to get the age down a bit."

As well as bringing in youth, Hasselbaink has also brought in much-needed pace, which is something that has been sorely lacking in the Cobblers squad for some time now.

The Town manager believes it is crucial that players are mobile in the modern game, and that things are only going to get quicker!

"Football is changing," said the former Chelsea and Leeds United striker.

"If you look in every league, from the Premier League, to the Championship, to league one, you need mobile players.

"You need players that can run, you need speed, because a lot of the games are about transition and how quickly you can get to the opposition's goal.

"Can you get the opposition to make a mistake? And can you materialise on that mistake and try to get to the oppositiion goal as quickly as possible?

"It handy when you have good players who understand that, and it is very difficult to defend."

And expanding on his recruitment policy, Hasselbaink said: "We have tried to bring in more mobile players, quicker players, who are younger but also have experience in this league, and know what is going to be asked of them.

"Players who are not going to come into a league where they have to adjust a lot, we wanted that process of integration to go quicker.

"It is not easy finding those players, because everybody is after those players, but that is what we have been looking for.

"League one is getting really quick, it is end to end, the quality is getting higher, the football is getting better and we are trying not to get left behind."