Assessing Blackpool's transfer window so far: Key deal already done, decision on future prospect, and key area still vacant that must be filled with quality

Jordan Rhodes will remain with Blackpool for the remainder of the season following the expiry of Huddersfield Town's recall window (Photographer Lee Parker / CameraSport)Jordan Rhodes will remain with Blackpool for the remainder of the season following the expiry of Huddersfield Town's recall window (Photographer Lee Parker / CameraSport)
Jordan Rhodes will remain with Blackpool for the remainder of the season following the expiry of Huddersfield Town's recall window (Photographer Lee Parker / CameraSport)
The January transfer window is well underway- with Blackpool keeping themselves fairly busy so far.

A number of players have gone elsewhere in the last couple of weeks- with some going on loan and others leaving permanently.

Meanwhile, there has been some news in terms of recruitment and retention for the Seasiders, but fans will be hoping for more before Deadline Day.

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Key deal already done

The most important thing on the agenda has already been resolved, with the confirmation of Jordan Rhodes’ future being a relief for everyone around the club.

Huddersfield Town gave Neil Critchley’s side the best transfer news they could’ve hoped for by opting not to recall the in-form striker from his loan spell at Bloomfield Road.

No one else currently at the club would’ve been able to replace the 33-year-old’s goals, and it would’ve been too expensive to bring in someone else who would guarantee similar numbers.

He’s popped up at key times on a number of occasions this season, and without him the Seasiders’ wouldn’t be near the race for the play-offs. There were a few raised eyebrows when he arrived in the summer, but he’s demonstrated that he’s still got it in front of goal.

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While Rhodes remaining at Blackpool was something that was very much out of the club’s hands, it’s hard to see anything else matching that news this month.

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Singular signing so far

The only incoming player so far has been Hayden Coulson on loan from Middlesbrough for the remainder of the season. So far the wing-back has featured off the bench in the EFL Trophy tie against Burton Albion, as well as starting in the league against Exeter City.

From what we’ve seen, he appears to provide a different option to what the club already had in that area, so it will be interesting to see how he develops. It was probably a position that was crying out for someone who is naturally used to the role and its requirements.

His arrival has seen Dom Thompson head out on loan to Forest Green Rovers- in a move that will deliver plenty of challenges for the 23-year-old, which could certainly make or break him.

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Apter decision made

Another player who has headed to League Two until the end of the season is Rob Apter- whose return to Tranmere Rovers was accompanied by the news he had agreed a new deal with the Seasiders which will keep him at the club until 2027.

A lot of people were hoping to see the 20-year-old given some game time at Bloomfield Road, following his impressive performances at Prenton Park in the first half of the season. It would’ve been interesting to see him pick up some minutes this month, but the decision to loan him back out is completely understandable.

At Tranmere he will pick up regular minutes, and is clearly well-liked by manager Nigel Adkins. There’s a big jump up from League Two to League One, and with the player Blackpool already have, his opportunities would’ve been more limited.

Of course, he could’ve had an impact at various points for the Seasiders, but loaning him back out is the best thing for his long-term future, and hopefully he’ll be a key man next year, as he certainly would’ve done more than enough to earn his stripes by then.

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Key area to recruit

As for the present, a big signing in midfield is required. Following his recent spell out of the team, and his absence on Saturday afternoon, it seems like Kenny Dougall’s time on the Fylde Coast appears to have come to an end.

He had been in good form this year and was a real key player for the Seasiders, but if he’s not going to be there anymore then bringing in a solid replacement is the priority.

The club needs to go big on this position and bring in someone that will drive a play-off push. Experience is going to be vital, as well as having attributes that complement the other options available to Critchley.