As we approach New Year, that means one thing; the transfer window opens again. Tranmere are within touching distance of the play-offs in League Two, and Micky Mellon is on the lookout for new faces to strengthen his squad.
The Rovers boss seemed a little short of funds in the summer when it came to bringing in players and so he will be hoping to get backing this January. With Friday’s money-spinning FA Cup tie against Tottenham just around the corner, will he get a little cash to spend?
Sources tell us that Micky has targeted two areas of the squad for improvement in January. One is the forward line. He’s still keen for a target man, and while his first choice is Andy Cook (so we’re told), it’s highly unlikely for any number of reasons.
There have been some rumours to suggest Mothewell’s Ryan Bowman is a target, but Exeter are thought to be in pole position to sign him as they prepare to lose top scorer Jayden Stockley. Bowman is also attracting the attention of several other League Two clubs, and Motherwell have confirmed they’ve accepted an offer from south of the border.
Mellon is also thought to be a fan of Shrewsbury’s Fejiri Okenabihrie, although that player is now an important first team player with the Shrews. He joined them from Dagenham in the summer and initially failed to hold down a regular first team spot. Now he is, it almost certainly means that it is game over from the perspective of him leaving the club.
Another name we have heard is a young striker from Blackburn Rovers, Joe Nuttall. The Championship club is considering loaning the forward out in January and there is no shortage of interest from League One and Two clubs. He arrived at Ewood Park from Aberdeen in 2017 and has made 17 first team appearances for the club, scoring twice.
The 21-year-old was in Manchester City’s Academy as a youngster and should he go out on loan, Blackburn will be keen to see the player starting games.
Another area which Micky is said to be keen to improve is the midfield. Tranmere have been hit with an injury to Ollie Banks over the last month which has perhaps highlighted a lack of depth in midfield, certainly from a creative perspective.
Luke McCullough’s loan will, we think, be extended until the end-of-the-season. That’s been a bit of a bizarre one with Doncaster confirming months ago that it was all agreed, but Rovers refusing to do so.
We do not yet have any names for potential signings in midfield. Expect another winger to come in – Mellon has lost Dylan Mottley-Henry to injury while Ben Tollitt has joined Wrexham on loan in search of match time.
Meanwhile, there is also some concern that Jonny Smith will be recalled by Bristol City who may offload the player on a permanent deal elsewhere. Smith’s loan is until the end-of-the-season, however, there is a recall option for the Robins.
Just as an interesting, by probably irrelevant snippet to end on, Leicester City are keen to loan out 23-year-old winger Leandro Martis. Remember him? He spent a very brief time on trial at Rovers a couple of years ago, had a great game against Vauxhall in pre-season and eventually ended up on trial at Manchester United before joining Leicester. Unlikely he will drop to League Two, or be affordable, but he’s been limited to EFL Trophy and Premier League 2 action this season.