Tom Dumanois is next up to discuss possible Gulls signings for 2020
With the majority of last season’s squad signed on for next season and Gary Johnson revealing the squad will be a lot smaller for the upcoming campaign, it’s very likely that the transfer picture will be very different to previous years. Although with key individuals Jamie Reid and Kalvin Kalala both leaving the club and chief scout Pete Johnson working extremely hard to look for replacements, it still promises to be an exciting period with new faces still on the cards.
‘Experience’ is the word that has been used in many recent interviews by Gary Johnson and Aaron Downes, with the current squad being one of the youngest in the league. The loss of Jamie Reid’s goals and Kalvin Kalala’s trickery and pace is a blow, but I’ve put together a range of possible replacements that I believe could be suitable options for the Gulls.
After having a glimpse of Dover’s retained list I was surprised to see the 29 year-old on the released list, as the experienced and powerful striker scored 16 goals in 36 games last season including a late penalty against the Gulls in their earlier meeting in August. The former Ross County, Woking and Barrow striker could be very high in demand this summer with a range of different clubs after his signature but I believe he would be a possible replacement for Reid with goals promised.
After spending the last 7 years in the west country this transfer is for me one of the more possible out of the lot, with the former Yeovil Town and Exeter City winger recently being released from Plymouth Argyle after spending 3 years at the club. The experienced Jamaican-born winger (who can also play upfront with an eye for goal) would be an ideal replacement for Kalala, he brings a lot of flair and energy which I believe is now required within the squad. The 32 year-old has played 24 times for Plymouth this season grabbing 4 goals and 3 assists, but most notably he was part of the Argyle squad in 17/18 that finished 7th in League 1 when he played 35 times netting 6 goals and grabbing 6 assists.
This one may seem like an obvious choice but with the former Gulls striker being released by Solihull Moors and currently without a club I feel he had to be included. The strong, physical striker enjoyed an impressive spell with Torquay in 15/16 where he netted 8 goals in 17 games to help the Gulls stay in the division during the famous ‘Great Escape’ season, followed by a further 4 goals in 16/17 before making the move to rivals Plymouth. He then went on to play 22 games for Plymouth before making the move to Macclesfield Town, where he most notably lifted the National League title. He then made the move to Solihull helping them to a play-off finish, the striker would be a solid choice for Gary Johnson should be return to Plainmoor.
The Irish midfielder has been a favourite of Gary Johnson’s over the years with Johnson signing him up twice before. Could he make it a third? Dawson was scouted by Pete and Gary whilst he was playing for Shelbourne of Ireland in 2013, before joining Yeovil Town where he went on to play 121 times for the club. He then joined Johnson again at Cheltenham in 2017. The 29 year-old has most recently been playing for Forest Green Rovers before recently leaving the club.
Another obvious choice, Warren is the only player on this list still with a club currently being at Devon rivals Exeter City. The 35 year-old ‘rock at the back’ performed extremely well for the Gulls during the short time he was at the club, securing a strong partnership with both Kyle Cameron and Robbie Cundy respectively. With his contract up this summer, I’m sure Warren will be at the top of Johnson’s list to bring in for 2020-21.
Bristol born Callum Evans will certainly rings a few bells to Gulls fans from his loan spell with the club in 2017, and the midfielder has since had a spell with Macclesfield Town where alongside Nathan Blissett he lifted the National league title. He was in and out of the team shortly after when Sol Campbell took charge, but helped the club survive relegation in 2019. He then joined Port Vale but has recently left the club. Aged just 24 the versatile player (who can also cover at full back) could be a useful option for the Gulls.
Last but not least Ryan Taylor, a tall and physical striker at 6’2 enjoyed a successful spell in Devon with Argyle before recently leaving the club. Another player like Grant to feature in the successful Argyle team in 17/18 where he scored 6 times in 24 games while grabbing 5 assists. The former Rotherham, Bristol City and Portsmouth front man would bring a lot of aerial threat to the team along with a lot of knowhow.