I think if you spoke to most fans, the one position that they would like to see the club improve in would be a playmaker, or at least an attacking midfielder who can chip in with a few goals.
Such players are a rare commodity and don’t come cheap. There are certainly some players like Peterborough’s Marcus Maddison who could be signed for the right fee, but there are also some options who will be available on a free transfer. So let’s look at three of them:
The attacking midfielder/forward was a revelation last season for Bristol City, but he has yet to sign a new deal that will keep him at the club. With 21 goals in 52 games in all competitions, the 25-year-old has been in superb form.
No doubt, there will be interest from Premier League clubs in the player, but he would fit perfectly into Garry Monk’s 4-4-2 system. Playing as the more advanced central midfielder, or as the deep-lying striker, the former Plymouth man would be ideal.
The chances of us getting him are probably quite low, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
The Republic of Ireland international has already been linked with a move to St Andrews, and it’s understandable why. He has left Norwich City after ten years but at 36 years of age, he still could prove to be a valuable asset for the team.
Players can’t live on past glories, but his stats for the Canaries are impressive. 54 goals and 78 assists in 351 appearances demonstrate the playmaker’s ability to make things happen going forward. A one-year deal for the Irishman can’t be ruled out.
Hoolahan’s international teammate has left Hull City despite being a regular for the Tigers last campaign. At 28 years of age, he has many years left ahead of him, and he is a proven Championship player.
He would be a better fit in the central midfield two, but he could prove to be an improvement on what we have already got. He possesses leadership abilities and offers a goal threat. He hit the back of the net five times, nearly as many as all of our central midfielders managed between them last season.