What other business do the Cobblers need to do in the January transfer window?

It has been a busy transfer window for the Cobblers, but boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is keen on doing even more business before it closes on January 31.

Friday, 26th January 2018, 4:18 pm
Updated Friday, 26th January 2018, 4:22 pm
JANUARY SIGNING - Hildeberto Pereira

Town have brought in seven players to date, with six leaving the club either permanently or on loan deals.

It means the Cobblers first team squad is a pretty hefty 31-strong, but the manager is still not totally happy with what he has at his disposal - so where should Hasselbaink be looking to strengthen before that window ‘slams shut’ at 11pm on Wednesday night.

The Town boss confirmed earlier this week that he is still looking to sign at least one striker, and it is certainly the attacking area where the Cobblers look the lightest.

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Jordan Turnbull

Chris Long has been in great form recently, scoring five goals in his past eight games, but with Marc Richards having left the club, the only senior back-up is Alex Revell, who is a completely different type of player.

Dean Bowditch is also in the wings, but doesn’t seem to feature in Hasselbaink’s plans at the moment, and then there are just the rookies Joe Iaciafano and Leon Loboit, who this week saw his loan spell at non-League Corby Town come to an end.

So at least one striker needs to come in, because if Long gets injured or suspended, that will leave Hasselbaink with a real headache.

But will that be a permanent signing, or another loan?

Shay Facey

And will there be one or two new men coming in?

I would imagine the manager would prefer it to be the latter to really up the competition, and give him real options.

Earlier in the window, Town were definitely looking to make a permanent signing and they have made offers to clubs and players, but time is running out and it could be the loan market will have to be the way to go as the clock ticks down.

What about elsewhere in the squad?

Joe Bunney

Well, to be honest, thanks to the recruitment so far, the Cobblers are pretty much covered in every area.

The chronic lack of width and pace that blighted the team in the first half of the season seems to have been rectified, with wingers Hildeberto Pereira and Gboly Ariyibi being brought in, along with attacking full-backs Shay Facey and Joe Bunney.

Daniel Powell is also fit again, and Sam Hoskins has been doing a strong job on the right flank in recent weeks, likewise Sam Foley on the left, but he is naturally a more central player.

Town are blessed with plenty of options in the central midfield area, so much so that one of the best players in the early part of the season, Shaun McWilliams, can barely get a kick at the moment.

Gboly Ariyibi

That’s because Matt Crooks, Matt Grimes and, of course, John-Joe O’Toole - who has virtually been playing up front since returning from injury - are three of the first names on the teamsheet.

It’s a similar story in defence, with three right-backs (Facey, Moloney, Phillips), four left-backs (Bunney, Buchanan, Smith, Hanley) and five central defenders (Taylor, Turnbull, Poole, Barnett, Pierre), with one of those, Regan Poole, adaptable and good enough to also bolster that overcrowded midfield.

Between the sticks, Town are also well served with Richard O’Donnell number one and David Cornell as back-up - and Luke Coddington can always be recalled from his loan as well, if required.

So Hasselbaink probably doesn’t actually need to strengthen anywhere apart from up front, but he is constantly talking about bringing in ‘extra quality’, and if a player becomes available, he will try and get the deal done.

That being the case, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did bring in players for areas other than in attack, but that may well depend on whether contracted players can be persuaded to leave the club, either permanently or on loan.

So, it is anybody’s guess exactly how busy the next few days are going to be, but I think it’s fair to say Hasselbaink and the Cobblers are not finished yet...

Richard O'Donnell

Cobblers’ January transfer window dealings so far

Ins: Shay Facey, Hildeberto Pereira (loan), Jack Bridge, Richard O’Donnell, Jordan Turnbull, Joe Bunney, Gboly Ariyibi (loan)

Outs: Lewis McGugan, Ryan McGivern, Matt Ingram, Billy Waters (loan), Marc Richards, Luke Coddington (loan)

First team squad - 31 strong

Goalkeepers (3): Richard O’Donnell, David Cornell, James Goff

Defenders (12): Shay Facey, Brendan Moloney, Ash Taylor, Regan Poole (loan), Jordan Turnbull, Leon Barnett, Joe Bunney, Dave Buchahan, George Smith, Raheem Hanley, Aaron Phillips (injured), Aaron Pierre (injured)

Midfielders (11): Matt Crooks, Matt Grimes (loan), Sam Hoskins, Daniel Powell, John-Joe O’Toole, Hildeberto Pereira (loan), Gboly Ariyibi (loan), Sam Foley, Shaun McWilliams, Jack Bridge, Yaser Kasim

Forwards (5): Chris Long (loan), Alex Revell, Dean Bowditch, Joe Iaciafano (on loan, but with recall option), Leon Lobjoit

Jordan Turnbull
Shay Facey
Joe Bunney
Gboly Ariyibi
Richard O'Donnell