Squad state of play: The main areas Blackpool are currently short in following release of retained list

Neil Critchley (Photographer Dave Howarth / CameraSport)Neil Critchley (Photographer Dave Howarth / CameraSport)
Neil Critchley (Photographer Dave Howarth / CameraSport)
Blackpool announced their retained list earlier this week- which revealed four first team players were leaving Bloomfield Road.

Callum Connolly, Matty Virtue, Marvin Ekpiteta and Shayne Lavery will all depart Bloomfield Road with contracts expiring next month. Meanwhile, James Husband’s future remains unclear, with talks still ongoing between the defender and the club.

The release of the retained list paints a clearer picture of where the Seasiders’ priorities should be when looking for reinforcements in the early weeks of the transfer window.

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Here’s how the Blackpool squad is currently looking in terms of personnel:


The Seasiders are pretty well equipped between the sticks. Dan Grimshaw really impressed last season as the club’s first choice, while Richard O’Donnell has extended his stay at Bloomfield Road following a successful campaign as the back-up keeper.

Following the departure of Mackenzie Chapman, the club could look at bringing in another option or look to the development squad if there are injuries, with an option taken on Harvey Bardsley.

Central defenders

Senior defenders are in short supply in the Blackpool squad following the departures of Ekpiteta and Connolly, as well as the uncertainty surrounding Husband. In terms of senior personnel that leaves Matthew Pennington and Olly Casey, alongside Dan Sassi- who made the move to the Fylde Coast earlier this year and spent time out on loan with Rochdale.

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If Critchley continues to play three at the back then this is one of the first areas where they need to quickly recruit when the transfer window opens.

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On the right side, the Seasiders are pretty well set with what they’ve currently got. The club will be hoping Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel remains this summer, while CJ Hamilton is tied down after signing a new contract back in December.

Meanwhile, on the left there’s some work to be done. Hayden Coulson would be the most obvious target to go for this summer after his successful loan spell on the Fylde Coast from January onwards.

With Andy Lyons sidelined for the long-term due to an ACL injury, Dominic Thompson is the only senior option really in that area, although Hamilton can play there as well.


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Virtue’s departure leaves Ollie Norburn and Albie Morgan as the two remaining senior midfielders from last season. January arrival Ryan Finnigan could potentially prove to be someone that could come straight into contention following his move from Southampton.

There has to be some serious recruitment in this area too, and a good place to start would be trying to secure the permanent services of George Byers after his successful loan spell, with his contract with Sheffield Wednesday set to expire.

In the more attacking midfield role, Rob Apter could potentially be utilised as a replacement for Karamoko Dembele- who has returned to Brest.


Following Lavery’s departure and the end of Jordan Rhodes’ loan, that leaves Kyle Joseph, Kylian Kouassi and Jake Beesley as the senior options up front for the Seasiders.

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A priority should be to bring in an experienced goalscorer that can really drive the team forward. All three of the remaining strikers have their qualities, but struggled with consistency last season.

Bringing Rhodes back would be a boost if he’s available for free when his contract with Huddersfield expires, but an addition alongside him would also be required.

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