TT TRANSFER SPECULATION
Danny Burnell – @dannyburnell_92
Well, after Gary’s post match remarks at Solihull, I think it’s pretty clear we will soon have an influx of new players heading to Plainmoor. GJ & Downesy will have their contacts in the game, and no doubt they will be looking to use their knowledge to tap up the best available players, whether they be free agents or loans. Based on nothing more than instinct and pure speculation, I take a look at who they might look to recruit to the Riviera.
Rhys Lovett – Maidenhead United
A goalkeeper, and a former employee of GJ, would not surprise me if Lovett turned up. Gary gave Rhys his first taste of real football whilst at Cheltenham, using him in cup competitions, before giving him his debut. Lovett is currently at Maidenhead after signing earlier this year, but seemingly finds himself out of favour. A couple of loan spells at Tiverton earlier in his career indicates he’s not too adverse to Devon life. At 24, this could be a great opportunity for him to establish himself as a #1.
Date of Birth: 915th June 1997 – 24 years-old
Previous Clubs: Walsall, Rochdale, Cheltenham, Tiverton, Shepton Mallet, Shortwood, Gloucester
Likelihood of joining: Was a regular starter at the back end of last season for Maidenhead, but has fallen out of favour now. NL experience, he kinda fits the bill. Very likely 9/10.
Nigel Atangana – Exeter City
A player Gary knows very well and given he plays his football just up the road at St James’ Park, not completely inconceivable he could rock up at Plainmoor. Gary signed French men Atangana whilst at Cheltenham in 2017 and played a pivotal role in Johnson’s set up at Whaddon Road. He is a defensive midfielder who has played 36 times for Exeter since joining in 2019, and has been restricted to a bit part role in their squad so far this season. Mainly used off the bench. He may want regular football and Exeter could be willing to let him go. Who knows….
Date of Birth: 9th September 1989 – 32 years old
Previous Clubs: Avranches, Dives, Riudellots, Gravelines, Havant & Waterlooville, Portsmouth, Leyton Orient, Cheltenham
Likelihood of joining: Given it’s not a direct position of concern, he may not be on GJ’s radar. Gary knows him well and given his local residence, could be a goer. Fairly unlikely 4/10
Benji Kimpioka – Sunderland
Gulls fans’ will be familiar with Benji given his loan spell towards the back end of last season. Kimpioka showed glimpses last season which could no doubt benefit the Gulls in their struggles. I’m surprised Benji hasn’t been sent on loan yet, with his lack of game time up north. Lee Johnson may want to try Benji at a higher level, or he may lend his father a helping hand, either way, wouldn’t be surprised to see him back.
Date of Birth: 21st February 2000 – 21 years-old
Previous Clubs: Torquay Utd (loan)
Likelihood of joining: He knows the team, he knows the manager. Father knows son. Fair chance 6/10.
James Rowe – Unattached
Another one well equipped with Johnson, the midfielder has plenty of experience at this level. Signed by Gary in 2015 for Cheltenham, Rowe was an integral part of their promotion winning season, before moving onto Aldershot in 2017. He played 71 times for the shots before being released in the summer. Rowe will be familiar with the management duo, as well as Wright, Hall & Holman.
Date of Birth: 21st October 1991 – 29 years old
Previous Clubs: Reading, Basingstoke, Lewes, Forest Green, Tranmere, Cheltenham, Aldershot
Likelihood of joining: As per Atangana, not an area of concern, but GJ know’s all about him, and seemingly trusted him at Cheltenham. Likely 8/10.
Jacob Carney – Sunderland
Pure speculation, and only going by the lad is at Sunderland, and the fact we need a keeper. The youngster made the switch from Man Utd U23’s to Sunderland U23’s in the summer, and maybe, just maybe, Johnson Jnr will want to see him cut his teeth into men’s football.
Date of Birth: 21st April 2001 – 20 years-old
Previous Clubs: Man United U23’s
Likelihood of joining: Goalkeeper is a big area of concern. I imagine GJ will want experience, but this lad his Man Utd & Sunderland on his CV. Would be surprised 2/10.
Callum Rowe – Exeter City