Today, Walsall signed three new players, all on permanent deals, so who are they? And how do they fit in with the current crop of Walsall players.
The first of our signings was a familiar face, Goalkeeper Jack Rose. Jack was on loan with us last season, and although he didn’t feature too many times for us, he impressed when he did. He showed that he has an ability to be a solid keeper at this level. The fans were also calling for his return, which as a loan player, is one of the highest honours you can receive. I hope that this season we see more competition between the two keepers. Previously, it felt as though Rose was a No2 keeper, whereas I feel both are as good as each other, and hopefully, they can continue to push each other, especially now that we have Rose here longer term.
Emmanuel was our second signing of the day, and one that has intrigued and excited fans. Emmanuel is a versatile midfielder, who in his first interview with the club, said he would see his ideal position as an 8 or a 10 role, however he is happy to play wherever. He is an attacking players, who can also fit in out wide. Last season, he scored 4, and assisted 3 in his 25 league appearances for Macclesfield before his release in January. That is a good level of goal involvement for a team that you do not know if you are getting paid month to month. He is quick, likes to keep the ball at his feet, and will offer us more going forward. He is still young, at 23 years old, but has over 100 professional appearances under his belt already, so people cannot say he isn’t experienced. For me, I hope he can rival Wes for entertainment value, and can help bolster our attacking threat.
Hayden was our third and final signing, which has seen our most exciting Thursday for a long time. Hayden joined after his release from Mansfield, and Mansfield fans were sad to see him go. He is an attacking RB, who can play at RWB, and was a part of the Mansfield set-up for a couple of seasons. He suffered a broken ankle in January 2019, and didn’t feature for the rest of the campaign. He struggled to break back into the team last season, and his release from Mansfield was our gain. If he can keep fit, and get back to his best, I think we have a real quality player on our hands. He offers something different to Norman, and that takes the pressure off White to be playing week in, week out. We know DC changes his line-ups based on the opposition, and this will mean White and Norman will be used for different reasons, but both will be pushing each other for the shirt.
So they are my views, all have strengthened and added depth to our squad, and with some of the younger players breaking through and giving DC a headache, I think we have the makings of a very successful team on our hands. Let me know what you think about the players, and whether there is any other areas you would like to see strengthened.