Following on from my top ten worst signings made by Derek Adams, I compiled my ten best during his tenure.
10. Yann Songo’o
One of the many players to follow Derek Adams from Ross County, Songo’o has become an integral member of the Argyle squad. Although he has divided opinions during his time, what he may lack in technical quality he certainly makes up for in determination. He has racked up over 120 apps for Argyle which should definitely be applauded and could well be an important player going into 2019/20 should he stay for another year.
9. Remi Matthews
Originally an emergency loan signing following a disastrous injury crisis in the 2017/18 season, the goalkeeper had two separate spells with Argyle in the same season. He firstly joined in October 2017 following injuries to all three of Argyle’s first team keepers. After returning to his parent club Norwich, another deal was struck in the January transfer window for Matthews to stay until the end of the season. He made 26 appearances in total and proved to be the foundation of a solid defence, helping Argyle to a strong finish that season.
8. Ryan Taylor
Taylor joined during the January transfer window in the 2016/17 season. His strength and hold up play was pivotal in Argyle’s promotion charge that season and he also played a huge part in the upturn of form in the second half of 2017/18. Injuries have set the frontman back this season but he will still have a huge part to play should he remain a Pilgrim. He will no doubt be a top player in League Two providing he remains fit.
7. Zak Vyner
Vyner was brought in on loan in January 2018 from Bristol City. He formed a formidable partnership with Sonny Bradley and has the attributes fitting of a modern day centre back. He was quick across the ground and assured in possession, providing a healthy balance at the heart of the Argyle defence in all of his 17 appearances. He has spent the last season on loan at Championship club Rotherham but is still contracted to Bristol City, who hold the defender in very high regard.
6. Freddie Ladapo
Ladapo joined last summer from Southend United. The 26 year old has had a plethora of clubs across non- league and the EFL and has struggled to find a team where he can settle and his signing looked relatively uninspiring. Following his first goal against Wycombe in August 2018, he went on to have a good season netting 18 more times in all competitions.
The frontman’s all round play still leaves a lot to be desired but his goalscoring record this season is a major reason we weren’t relegated earlier. His form was rumoured to have attracted attention from elsewhere in January but he remains a Plymouth player and will be an important member of the team as we look to bounce straight back from relegation.
5. Jake Jervis
Having played under Adams at Ross County, the scot brought Jervis south soon after his appointment. He went on to make 108 appearances, scoring 27 goals and was a key member of the promotion winning side in 2016/2017. Rivals Luton picked Jervis up for an undisclosed fee in January 2018 and he made 12 appearances for The Hatters. He was then sent on loan to relegation rivals Wimbledon for the duration of last season.
4. David Fox
Fox was signed in July 2016 after being released by Crewe Alexandra and has just ended his 3rd season with the Pilgrims. He has been an ever present in the middle of the park across 128 games for us and many hope he will sign on for another year, as his experience is something the whole club could benefit from going into League 2.
Fan favourite Sonny Bradley signed from Crawley in the summer of 2016. He went on to play 95 goals scoring 11 goals. He was the natural leader at the heart of a strong defence in two successful seasons. His performances and character won over the Green Army, before he decided to reject a new contract in favour of a move to Luton Town. He has been integral to The Hatters clinching the League 1 title and will be playing Championship football next season.
2. Ruben Lameiras
Following promotion to League One, Derek Adams was quick to swoop in and sign Lameiras on a free following his release from Coventry. He made 37 appearances in his first season, showing some real glimpses of quality along the way. This season saw him crowned Argyle’s player of the season following 12 goals and 9 assists, not to mention some dazzling all round displays. He has been offered a new contract but with rumours of French giants Bordeaux keeping one eye on developments, the future of our Portugese magician looks set to be in a league much higher than the fourth tier in England.
1. Graham Carey
Carey was one of Adams’ first signings in July 2015 and you could see why as he made an immediate impact following a debut goal. He won the player of the year award in his first season with The Pilgrims, narrowly missing out on promotion. He has gone on to play well over 150 times in all competitions and is a firm favourite amongst the Green Army, scoring some stunning goals with his quality left foot, winning player of the season once again in 2017/18.
Many criticised Adams for his transfer activity but it is worth remembering the circumstances in which he was working. His budget was restricted, especially in League One. A lot of his signings have racked up a substantial amount of appearances for the club, many of whom will still be with us as we prepare for League 2. The likes of Antoni Sarcevic and Jamie Ness to name a couple haven’t made the list but that doesn’t take anything away from their fantastic service during their time at Home Park.