Blackpool head coach may turn to free agents

Neil Critchley has revealed Blackpool will consider the free agent market to further bolster their squad.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 8:00 am

Matty Virtue (ACL), Grant Ward (ruptured Achilles tendon), CJ Hamilton (foot) and Gary Madine (groin) are all long-term absentees and haven’t been registered.

Injured players can, however, be added to the 25-man squad at any stage subject to EFL approval.

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Having three free spots available does raise the prospect of the Seasiders bringing in free agents.

When asked if the club monitors the free agents currently available, Critchley told The Gazette: “Yeah, we do.

“With our own players, you can add them to your squad at any time which gives you a bit more flexibility.

“Last season we brought in Kevin Stewart and Kenny Dougall as free agents outside transfer windows.

“There’s always that possibility that a player hasn’t been fixed up and that’s why we left those one or two places.

“Hopefully Gary takes one of those spaces and then we have to wait for CJ to have his surgery, which we’re hopeful will be in the next few days.

“It’s only until January as well, as the window obviously reopens again and you get to adjust your 25-man squad accordingly.”

It was another busy transfer window for the Seasiders, who brought in 13 players and moved on 10.

Pool’s deadline day saw them sign Dujon Sterling, Jordan Gabriel and Owen Dale, who are all in line to make their debuts today against Fulham.

It was a quiet deadline day in terms of outgoings though, with no players leaving Bloomfield Road.

When asked if the club received an approach for any of their star players, Critchley said: “We didn’t have any bids, we had some tentative enquiries but nothing concrete.

“There was nothing we thought would make business sense for us as a football club.

“In terms of additions, we had some targets in mind. Some came off and some didn’t but, if you have a process, it’s much easier to follow.

“If you don’t, you can sometimes make decisions that impact on your football club further down the line which can affect you for negative reasons and I don’t think we did that.”

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