Marcus Arscott returns with his transfer gossip round-up, discussing which players are being linked to TUFC this week:
Marcus Arscott – @marcusarscott
“Every week, I will be bringing you a summary of players that have been identified on Yellows social media as possible summer signings. Each player will be graded 1-5 stars for both quality and potential of signing. These are not my suggestions; these are names that I and others have seen banded about on forums, Facebook and Twitter. Some are brilliant, some are just silly but hey, ‘tis the close season and speculation is rife”.
“So here we are in late May and not one signing has been made. Despite one or two people on social media about to implode with panic, I don’t think we’re even close to having anything to worry about. Johnson knows what he’s doing and when you’re trying to recruit players of the sort of calibre he’s been talking about, we can’t expect them to be putting pen to paper on the first deal they get offered. Here’s the lowdown on 8 players whose names have been mooted in the last week or so”.
1 – Paul McCallum
McCallum is a 25-year-old striker who started his career at Dulwich Hamlet in 2010, before getting a move to West Ham just one year later. He then spent 5 years on loan to several different clubs, including Torquay for about a month in 2013. I don’t personally remember his time with us (not many people do, not sure why) but he made 5 appearances, scoring 3 goals, before returning to West Ham prematurely after suffering a back injury.
He left West Ham in 2015 and joined Leyton Orient, scoring 15 goals in 43 appearances during his 2 year stay. McCallum has seriously started making a name for himself after joining Eastleigh in 2017. Last season he scored 27 league goals, making him the league’s joint top goalscorer alongside Danny Rowe of AFC Fylde.
McCallum would be a seriously, seriously good signing but unfortunately all the signs are that he’s going to re-join newly promoted Leyton Orient. I wouldn’t write it off completely, but any player that does that well at any level will surely be looking for an opportunity to move up, the convenience of going to an ex-club makes the deal all the more appealing.
Quality – 4.5 / 5 Likelihood – 1 / 5
2 – Dan Lavercombe
Another ex-Gull to make the list is Dan Lavercombe. Dan joined from the academy late in the 2014/15 season, before earning his first professional contract that summer. He caught the attention of Wigan and they signed him in January 2016, before loaning him back to the Gulls for the rest of the season. Lavercombe then went on loan the following season to Welsh PL side Rhyl FC.
Dan came back to us on loan briefly in August 2017 to cover the injured Ryan Clarke, but his month long loan was cut short by an injury sustained on the training ground. It was during this stay that Lavercombe had the misfortune of being lobbed by the opposition keeper during a 2-1 home loss to Solihull Moors. No excuses, it was poor, but this cannot and does not reflect on this lad’s ability. Now released by Wigan, fans are discussing whether he’d be a good competition for the no. 1 spot. He is a very naturally talented player and let’s not forget Dan’s still only 23.
There are two options with keepers at this level, either bringing in a young trainee to act as cover or bringing in a capable no. 1 to push your current choice. I generally favour the second option and I think that Lavercombe can fit the bill perfectly.
Quality – 3.5 / 5 Likelihood – 3 / 5
3 – Dan Rooney
Dan Rooney is a 19-year-old midfielder who started his footballing career in Argyle’s youth set-up. Dan joined Truro on loan in October and has been there ever since.
Josh Miller, founder of @TCFC_Updates, has been kind enough to write a summary for us: ‘Dan Rooney is an outstanding talent. It’s a real shock that Plymouth Argyle released him. In 26 starts for us last season, he scored 7 goals and grabbed three assists, repeating those sorts of numbers for Argyle in the Central League & Premier League Cup. He likes to get on the ball & make things happen and has a real desire & winning mentality about him. He’s a great passer of the ball & has good decision-making of when to lay the ball to a teammate or take it on himself with a strike at goal, usually testing the goalkeeper or flying into the back of the net. He’s also able to take defenders on and beat them with ease. When playing for Truro, Derek Adams stated his interest in recalling him and loaning him out to a National League level side. Personally, I think he’s ready for that and could be a very valuable player if Torquay United are able to capture his services’
That sounds conclusive to me. Dan sounds like exactly the sort of player that we’re looking for and since he’s only 19, he’s got plenty of time to develop and improve further.
Quality – 4 / 5 Likelihood – 3.5 / 5
4 – Daniel Leadbitter
There’s a lot of Dans in this list, isn’t there? Most United fans will already be familiar with the 28 year-old full-back after getting Martin Ling’s attention in 2011. He was signed on a 2 year contract after being released from Newcastle. His start to his career at Torquay was hampered by a hamstring injury so he missed the first few months, and in truth he never really got the game time that he may have been expecting. He only managed to make 15 appearances over the 2 seasons, before being released at the end of the 2012/13 campaign.
Leadbitter then went on to join Hereford United where he played nearly every game in the 2013/14 season. He did enough to get the attention of Bristol Rovers, where he has been ever since. Dan has had a successful time there, making 115 appearances over 5 seasons and winning two promotions in the process. He was described as a quick, powerful right-back who loved to get forward. However, his form seems to have dipped towards the end of his stay, with his release being met with mixed reactions from the Rovers’ fans.
We already have a very capable full-back pairing of Davis and Wynter, but a bit of competition for places can only be healthy and that is something that Johnson has said he’s keen on. Judging on his form and history, the National League or League 2 are probably the right places for Leadbitter to be, so we have every chance of being able to sign him should we wish to do so.
Quality 3.5 / 5 Likelihood 3 / 5
5 – Tyler Harvey (again)
I wrote about Tyler last week, but alongside his take on Dan Rooney, Josh Miller also provided us with some additional insight on Truro’s star striker.
‘Tyler Harvey is another player that was key to Truro last season, scoring 25 goals in 41 appearances for any side is a real achievement, let alone one that ended up in the relegation places. He’s skilful on the ball and is able to hold it up well, but benefits when playing alongside a more physical striker, such as Jared Lewington last season. He’s able to drop deep and switch the play to either wing, as well as being deadly in a one on one situation.
There’s been a lot said about his diet, with Leigh Robinson stating in March “He’s having a great season. It shouldn’t be as a good a season as he’s having as his diet’s an absolute disgrace, but he’s a hell of a talent”, before going onto say “In a game where he was relatively quiet, he pops up with a goal at a key time, so he’s really important for us. It’s good for the belief of this team that we’ve got a player like Tyler on the pitch who can get us a goal out of nowhere.” Leigh stated this on Radio Cornwall, where he said it in a joking tone of voice. It worked on the radio but looks completely different when written down.
Any player that scores 25 goals for a relegated side in the National South deserves the chance at a higher level. Initially, he may well find it hard, especially having to compete with the likes of Jamie Reid, as well as moving from part-time to full-time, professional football. I think with time, he’ll become a proven National League or Football League goal scorer’.
Quality 3.5 / 5 Likelihood 4 / 5
6 – Luke Young
His name was always going to come up wasn’t it? Luke was and still is a Yellows favourite, and quite rightly so. Since leaving to join Wrexham, he has had a very successful season and has firmly entrenched himself in the starting XI. Looking at the Wrexham forums and social media, Youngy has become a hugely popular figure at the club and fans are full of praise for his style of play, particularly his set pieces.
We know that Luke was fairly settled in the area before moving, and it is likely that family and friends are still in the area. The only problem? He signed a 2-year deal when he joined Wrexham, so is currently under contract. That’s not to say that we couldn’t make an approach, but it would probably take a hefty fee to tempt Wrexham in to selling, plus Luke seems to be enjoying his time there. Sorry Yellows, not this time.
Quality 4 / 5 Likelihood 0.5 / 5
7 – Brandon Goodship
You may not have heard of him yet, but this guy scores goals like they’re no challenge. Goodship is a 24 year-old striker who started his career at Bournemouth, just down the road from his home town of Poole. Brandon never managed to make a first team appearance for the Cherries, but he spent plenty of time on loan to other clubs in and around the National Leagues until his release halfway through the 2016/17 season. He then re-signed for Yeovil, after spending some time on loan there earlier in the year, where he went on to make 8 appearances until the end of the season.
Goodship then went on to sign for Weymouth Town in 2017, and it’s since then that he’s really found his form. He has made 81 appearances for the Terras and has scored 75 goals. That record is hugely impressive regardless of what level you’re playing at. In fact, it was his contribution that has helped them become champions of the Southern League Premier and they will be competing in the National League South next season.
I predict big things for this lad if he can start to move up the ladder now. With that kind of record, there will undoubtedly be more than a few clubs after him, and I’d be very surprised if he has not shown up on the Johnson brothers’ radar yet.
Quality: 4 / 5 Likelihood: 3 / 5
8 – James Alabi
Another 24 year-old striker, Alabi has spent a lot of time playing for clubs at League 2 level since starting his career with Stoke City in 2013. In the time since, he has represented teams such as Scunthorpe, Accrington Stanley (who are they?), Grimsby Town and Chester. Up until joining Chester in 2016, it’s fair to say that James struggled to find his stride. However, he managed to score 23 goals in 58 appearances there, and that was enough to get the attention of Tranmere Rovers, who signed him in 2017.
Unfortunately since then, Alabi has struggled to find his form again. He made 9 appearances for Tranmere before going on loan to Dover where he scored 1 in 11. He hasn’t had the best season on paper for Leyton Orient this season either, scoring just 2 in 23 appearances. He is still under contract at Orient, but they have chosen to place him on the transfer list as Martin Ling doesn’t believe that he can guarantee him first team football. Is he worth a go? Looking at his record I’m not convinced. There’s certainly some talent there, but I can’t help thinking that if he was going to make it at NL level, he would’ve done so by now.