BLACKPOOL beat last night’s transfer deadline to add two new faces – but it could have been many more.
The Seasiders spent the day making offers for targets all over Europe and eventually managed to secure winger Nathan Eccleston from Liverpool and Aston Villa striker Nathan Delfouneso before two further deals fell through at the final moment.
Southend’s Ryan Hall and Liverpool’s Danny Wilson were both due to sign only for last-minute hiccups to scupper the deals. Pool agreed a fee for midfielder Hall at 10.55pm, five minutes before the deadline, making it impossible for the contracts to be drawn up in time.
Both players may join the club when the loan window opens next week, with views to permanent moves.
Doing most of the work yesterday was club secretary Matt Williams, who says he has never seen anything like it.
Williams told The Gazette: “It was by far the busiest deadline day I’ve ever experienced. We had so many deals agreed for players only for them to fall down for one reason or another.
“We agreed a deal with a player from Italy, a loan with view to a permanent deal.
“The player and his club agreed with our terms, but he did not arrive on his flight and signed for another club.
“We were also confident of a deal for a Spanish defender, but getting him through a medical was almost impossible. We just couldn’t get him into the country.”
A major positive for Pool was keeping hold of a number of prized assets. No new bids came in for Matt Phillips, Tom Ince or Alex Baptiste.
Pool’s two signings have considerable pedigree. Eccleston has been a target of Holloway since facing the Seasiders in a behind closed-doors game two years ago.
The winger tore Pool’s side to shreds in that friendly, which the Pool boss was quick to mention publicly at the time.
The 21-year-old has struggled to make the breakthrough to Liverpool’s first team since joining from Bury in 2009 and has had loan spells with Huddersfield, Charlton and Rochdale.
He has signed a one-year contract with the option of a further 12 months.
On the deal, Eccleston said: “I’m delighted to have signed for Blackpool. It was difficult to leave Liverpool after seven great years but the time is right an I’m looking forward to this opportunity.”
England Under-21 international Delfouneso arrives at Bloomfield Road on a season-long loan.
A product of Villa’s youth system, the frontman burst on to the scene in 2008 and has had loan spells at Burnley and, earlier this year, Leicester.
He has represented England at every youth level and has made 13 appearances for the U21s.