With Ryan Lowe confirmed as the new boss, we cast our eye over the free agents available for Plymouth Argyle to pick up during this 2019 summer transfer window.
Whilst Ian Henderson almost single-handedly dragged Rochdale by the scruff of the neck away from the League One relegation zone, the role of Brad Inman was often understated. The Australian primarily played as a right winger, but also lined up across the midfield over the course of the season, and he earned vital points for his side. Most notably, Inman scored an opening day brace in a 2-1 win over Burton, and assistied a late winner against Blackpool to secure a win by the same scoreline.
With an abundance of pace and an ability to play anywhere across the midfield, he is another versatile option who might interest Lowe. Inman thrives out wide, making darting runs down the line often looking to get a ball into the box for his teammates. In a more attacking formation and at a lower level, the Aussie could thrive.
Despite playing almost the entirety of his career in League One with Crewe, Peterborough and Rochdale, the 27-year-old could be persuaded to make the drop to League Two with the promise of regular game time and promotion ambition, neither of which he would be guaranteed if he were to remain in the division.
A fibula fracture kept Morris out for a large period last season, limiting the former Blackburn man to just 22 appearances. The 27-year-old certainly made an impact, making a comeback in the final third of the season going on to register 11 goals and assists (5G,6A). Many Pilgrims fans will remember Morris’ goal on the final day of the season, rushing to keep the ball in play and lobbing the injured Matt Macey who had originally attempted to put the ball out of play in order to receive treatment.
Unlike many on this list, Morris doesn’t possess an abundance of strength, but makes up for this with his excellent runs, either making surging runs down the left-wing or through the middle of the park. A very similar player to Graham Carey in regards to his attacking style, the Englishman has registered an impressive 67 goals and assists (37G, 30A) in just 125 Scunthorpe appearances.
Also able to play as a central midfielder or left-back, he has the versatility that Ryan Lowe will be looking for in terms of transition when Argyle revert to a 5-3-2 when out of possession and 4-1-3-2 when they are on the ball.
Status: Contract Offered
Although highly unlikely, Blackpool frontman Nathan Delfouneso could be tempted to a move to the Westcountry which would see him reunited with former teammate Ryan Lowe.
The former Shaker is more accustomed to playing as a centre forward but there is lots to suggest that the Birmingham-born man is capable of playing on either wing. The current Tangerine’s stats don’t look particularly impressive but, for a man who only started 70% of games, he had quite an impressive return of a 20% contribution in all of Blackpool’s goals.
The 6ft 1 forward has a good burst of pace in his locker as well as a great finishing ability which sees him finish from tight angles on a regular basis. A bit of poacher? Yes, but also a grafter who runs the channels excellently which allows him to get on the end of a lot of loose balls. A physical presence too enables him to possess good hold up play.
The final question has to be whether Delfouneso would fit the system deployed by Lowe. As a winger, we would be inclined to say no as there is limited evidence provided that would suggest that he has the defensive work ethic required. However, it could be argued that Delfouneso would be perfect as a striker – he is a good finisher and has an abundance of pace.
Club: Cambridge United
Status: Contract Offered
David Amoo is the perfect example of a player whose stats make his season look rather more lacklustre than it actually was. The London born winger started only 54% of games resulting a large amount of appearances coming as a substitute. This obviously limited his chances of having a real impact, but it does nonetheless appear that he had a big part in the Amber Army’s season.
Involvement in 22% of all of Cambridge’s league goals suggests that the former Carlisle man had a greater influence than first thought. The Midlands side severely struggled for goals throughout the season, only managing 40 in the league – the second poorest return. Amoo was one of the main sources of creativity for the struggling side. He was probably one of the brighter sparks within the team. If surrounded by more lethal front men, his stats could look very different.
The Liverpool academy graduate is renowned for his powerhouse-like build which allows him to have quick bursts of acceleration. This sees him regularly glide past opposition players. His strong build also offers an aerial threat, and he is rarely muscled off the ball.
An adequate enough option, but there is definitely better out there.
Club: AFC Wimbledon
Spurs academy graduate Andy Barcham, formerly of League One side AFC Wimbledon, has been forced to look for a new club after no extension to his contract was offered. Having only started 46% of games in what was a dismal campaign for the Wombles, Barcham failed to create any real impact as he was only involved in 7% of the goals scored by the London-based side.
However, this season has generally been an exception to the rule for Barcham. He tends to contribute more. He is clever finisher in front of goal, and makes exceptional attacking runs from deep. At 5ft 9 he provides little aerial ability, but his great footwork allows him to glide past opposing players.
We would imagine that Barcham may be suitable for the left-wing role in Ryan Lowe’s system as he is more than able to track. Playing in a relatively poor Wimbledon side saw the 32-year-old having to track back frequently in order to prevent the onslaught of incoming attacks. He could be trusted to do so again.
Club: Notts County
Former Argyle player Alessandra hasn’t quite hit the heights he was expected to move onto following his departure from Home Park in the summer of 2015. Although relocation was the main reason for moving, many of the Green Army would have been forgiven for thinking that a lot of teams could benefit from having the tricky winger at their club.
Following a poor season at relegated outlet Notts County, the winger was inevitably released. As we all know too well, the Bury born winger has bags of speed and is rather good with the ball at his feet. He is a good finisher as well, which could make the 30-year-old an adequate suitor to the right-wing role.
However, there is always a ‘but’. Questions must be asked as to whether Alessandra could facilitate the defensive responsibilities required of him in the Lowe system. It would be a new role for him. If he were able to adapt, he would most likely be a good, cheap option for the recently relegated Plymouth Argyle.
Promoted Barnsley winger Lloyd Isgrove has found himself looking for a new club after partaking in only 1% of Barnsley’s league minutes last year. The Southampton academy graduate’s career has never really hit lift off. After 7 goals and 10 assists for the Saints U23 side there was great hope for the Welshmen’s career, but a knee injury saw this momentum grind to a halt.
At only 26 years of age, there is still time for the former Tyke’s career to be resurrected. The most notable moment of Isgrove’s career to date was his late header against Millwall in the play-off final which saw Barnsley promoted to the Championship. There has, however, been little success since.
Despite the lack of recent game time, we believe that Isgrove could fit the mould required for a Ryan Lowe winger. A technically sound player who is used to playing in a deeper wide man role, he is more than aware of the required defensive duties. The technical ability of the winger would also be important when it comes to executing the final ball into the box.
It can be assumed that there would be little interest in Isgrove from many League One sides, and that competition for the Welsh international would be relatively limited.
Club: Mansfield Town
Possibly one of the more unglamorous options on this list is former Argyle loanee Will Atkinson. The Hull academy graduate saw relatively limited success last year as he only started 9% of games over the season. An injury at the start of the season saw his game time limited but, despite getting himself fit by October, he couldn’t claim a regular place in the side.
Atkinson is a tidy looking player who specialises in retaining possession of the ball. He very commonly sits inside and looks to cross the ball instead of beating his man. He also contributes to a few goals along the way. Atkinson is often seen getting on the end of numerous crosses as he makes frequent late runs into the box, which are very hard for the opposing defenders to track.
At 30 years of age, we believe that the Beverley born winger may lack the energy required to play in the counter pressing system that Ryan Lowe deploys. However, we do see that the tidy playmaker could be a good bench player as he provides a good depth of experience and is likely to be relatively cheap in comparison to other playmakers.
A key member of Ryan Lowe’s promotion winning side, McFadzean was involved in 78% of the minutes played in the league. The Sheffield United academy product is well versed with the system and is no doubt fully accustomed to the role in which he would be deployed in. McFadzean contributed to a good number of goals last term as he excelled in putting balls into the box.
Specialising in the low driven cross, McFadzean provided a great threat down the Shakers’ left-hand side. His excellent supporting runs often allowed Lowe’s men to retain possession of the ball. McFadzean is also useful with the ball at his feet, as his close control allows him to nip pass players regularly. Also defensively sound, the Scotsman is a more than adequate option to be deployed in a counter pressing system.
However, there is a great level of uncertainty regarding the availability of McFadzean due to the financial predicament the north-west side find themselves in. On top of this, there is also a query as to whether Ryan Lowe would feel comfortable with signing him as a result. He has previously stated how he needs to respect the situation.
By no means a long-term solution. At 33-years-old, Marshall is in the twilight of his career after leaving League One side Charlton and will likely find himself at a top ten League Two side this summer. Limited to just six league starts all season thanks to Charlton’s numerous impressive attacking options, the former Barnet man registered a single goal and assist in the league. On paper, that looks a rather poor record. However, having played less than half an hour in 14 of his 22 league appearances, it’s understandable.
Indeed, the 2016/17 season he spent at Bradford in League One is precisely the reason that Charlton signed him in the first place. He registered 16 goals and assists (6G, 10A), most of which came in a flurry towards the end of the campaign.
Despite his age, Marshall still has a blistering amount of pace. He’d be able to fly up and down the flanks, easily managing both attacking and defensive duties. This, combined with his keen dribbling abilities, would prove vital as Argyle break and overload their opposition in their 3-1-4-2 formation. Another set piece taker, he would add another option during matches.