League One transfer guide – The lowdown on every summer signing of 2020
PUBLISHED: 06:00 05 August 2020 | UPDATED: 19:23 25 September 2020
The League One domestic transfer window closes on October 16. Here are the all the ins and outs at every third-tier club so far, plus some quotes from those players and their managers.
* Last updated September 25
IN: Alex Gilbey (MK Dons, undisc), Conor Washington (Hearts, undisc), Dylan Levitt (Man Utd, loan)
OUT: Lyle Taylor (Nottingham Forest, free), Tom Lockey (Luton, free), Naby Sarr (Huddersfield, free), Chris Solly, Adam Matthews (contracts expired)
LOANS EXPIRED: Josh Cullen (West Ham), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Sam Field, Jonathan Leko (both West Brom), David Davis (Birmingham), Andre Green (Aston Villa), Aiden McGeady (Sunderland).
Alex Gilbey (MK Dons, undisclosed)
Newly-relegated Charlton were under a transfer embargo due to their ongoing financial and ownership issues, but the EFL have allowed the club to bring in Gilbey.
The former Colchester and Wigan midfielder, 25, scored five goals for MK Dons last season.
“He’ll bring us a lot of energy in the middle of the park, physicality and goals,” said Addicks boss Lee Bowyer. “He’s 25 which is a good age to work with and he’s already got a lot of games under his belt.”
Conor Washington (Hearts, undisclosed)
Northern Ireland forward scored four goals in 22 games in his one season at Hearts.
The former Peterborough, QPR and Sheffield United man said: “I’m gutted about last year and disappointed neither I nor the team hit anywhere near the heights expected of us.
“I’m really looking forward to the challenge. I’ve seen a lot of Charlton over the last few years and with the manager being the way he is, it looks like a great project to be a part of.”
Dylan Levitt (Man Utd, loan)
Midfielder, 19, recently made his senior debut for Wales.
He said: “I’ve spoken to Lee Bowyer, he wants to get back to the Championship where Charlton belong.”
* Paul Cook quit as manager. John Sheridan took over.
IN: Viv Solomon-Otabor (CSKA Sofia, free), Dan Gardner (free agent), Josh Clarke (free agent), Nathan Cameron (Macclesfield, free), Tom James (Hibernian, loan)
OUT: Kieffer Moore (Cardiff, £2m), Antonee Robinson (Fulham, £2m), Joe Williams (Bristol City, undisc), David Marshall (Derby, undisc), Jamal Lowe (Swansea, £800k), Joe Gelhardt (Leeds, £1m), Chey Dunkley (Sheff Weds, undisc), Sam Morsy (Middlesbrough, undisc), Nathan Byrne (Derby, undisc), Jensen Weir (Brighton, £500k), Alfie Devine (Tottenham, undisc), Lewis Macleod (Plymouth, free), Michael Jacobs (Portsmouth, free), Anthony Pilkington (contract expired)
LOANS EXPIRED: Leon Balogun (Brighton), Charlie Mulgrew (Blackburn), Kieran Dowell (Everton), Dujon Sterling (Chelsea), Alex Dobre (Bournemouth)
Viv Solomon-Otabor (CSKA Sofia, free)
Former Birmingham and Blackpool winger, 24, spent last season at Bulgarian club CSKA Sofia. He joins on a short-term contract.
Dan Gardner (free agent)
Former Crewe, Chesterfield, Tranmere, Bury and Oldham striker hasn’t played since November 2018 because of injury. He joins on a short-term contract.
Josh Clarke (free agent)
An athletic right-back who can also play further forwards. He was a regular in the Championship for Brentford between 2016 and 2018.
Nathan Cameron (Macclesfield, free)
Centre-back, 28, played in the Championship for Coventry and helped Bury to a League Two promotion.
Boss John Sheridan said: “He’s got promotion on his CV, lots of experience under his belt and his experienced will be valuable to the young lads in our team.”
Tom James (Hibernian, loan)
Right-back, 24, came through at Cardiff and has represented Wales at youth level. He enjoyed success at League Two side Yeovil before moving to Hibernian last summer.
IN: Mallik Wilks (Barnsley, undisc), Festus Arthur (Stockport, undisc), Lewie Coyle (Fleetwood, £350k), Josh Emmanuel (Bolton, free), Richie Smallwood (Blackburn, free), Greg Docherty (Rangers, undisc), Alfie Jones (Southampton, undisc), Thomas Mayer (SC Austria Lustenau, free), Hakeeb Adelakun (Bristol City, loan)
OUT: Robbie McKenzie (Gillingham, free), Ryan Tafazolli (Wycombe, undisc), Jon Toral (Birmingham, free), Kevin Stewart, Markus Henriksen, Nouha Dicko, Jackson Irvine, Eric Lichaj and Stephen Kingsley (contracts expired)
LOANS EXPIRED: Josh Bowler, Matthew Pennington and Herbie Kane
Lewie Coyle (Fleetwood, £350k)
Tigers say they paid a ‘substantial fee’ to get the right-back.
The 24-year-old, formerly of Leeds, has been a key figure for Fleetwood in League One over the last three seasons.
“His attitude, commitment and desire to learn and improve is first class and - being a Hull lad - he will know what it means to the fans to wear the shirt,” said boss Grant McCann.
Fleetwood manager Joey Barton said: “As a club it’s been a good bit of business for us, he joined on a free transfer in January and we’ve managed to see a decent return. It’s money which hopefully will help us strengthen the squad.”
Richie Smallwood (Blackburn, free)
Midfielder, 29, has won promotion from League One at both Rotherham and Blackburn. He made just two appearances for Rovers last season.
“He will put his foot in, challenge for every ball and compete for everything on the pitch,” said Tigers boss McCann. “We’ve got some good young players at this club and they will also benefit massively from Richie’s experience, along with his footballing knowledge and know-how.”
Josh Emmanuel (Bolton, free)
The Ipswich Town academy graduate made 29 appearances for his boyhood club before being released prematurely from his Portman Road contract last summer.
He spent last season at Bolton, playing regularly as the points deducted Trotters finished bottom of the League One table. Has previous League One experience through loans at Shrewsbury and Rotherham.
“Josh has all the physical tools needed to be a modern day full-back,” said manager McCann. “He’s tall, strong and is rarely beaten for pace, which also highlights just how good he is in one-on-one situations – both attacking and defensively.”
Greg Docherty (Rangers, undisclosed)
Midfielder, 23, scored seven goals during a loan spell at League One club Shrewsbury in 2018/19. He finished last season on loan at Hibernian.
“He’s got great energy, has the ability to go from box-to-box and boasts a wide passing range,” said Tigers boss McCann.
Thomas Mayer (SC Austria Lustenau, free)
Former Wolfsburg striker scored six goals and provided 15 assists in Austrian football last season.
Hull’s official website write: “A technically strong player with plenty of flair and creativity.”
Alfie Jones (Southampton, undisclosed)
Centre-back, 22, made a handful of appearances for Southampton. He spent last season on loan in League One at Gillingham.
“There were a lot of clubs showing interest and we’re delighted he’s picked us,” said boss McCann.
Hakeeb Adelakun (Bristol City, loan)
Winger, 24, started out at Crystal Palace and West Ham before moving to Scunthorpe as a teenager. He moved back up the pyramid to Bristol City and spent the second half of last season on loan at Rotherham, helping them to League One promotion.
“Hakeeb is a player I’ve admired for a few years now,” said Hull boss McCann. “He was in a successful Scunthorpe team that twice just missed out on promotion. He went to Rotherham last season and they got promoted. He knows what it takes.”
Mallik Wilks (Barnsley, undisclosed)
Barnsley paid £1.3m to sign the 24-year-old winger from Leeds last summer, but he was left in the shadows following a change of management at Oakwell. He subsequently joined Hull on loan and made the move permanent following the Covid-19 suspension.
Tigers boss McCann said: “He’ll be a big player for us.”
Festus Arthur (Stockport, undisclosed)
McCann believes the club have an ‘unearthed gem’ in the 20-year-old.
“He’s been phenomenal for Stockport (National League) this season,” said the Tigers boss. “He’s a 6ft 3in commanding centre-back, can pass the ball left foot, right foot. We’re really pleased to get him because there was a lot of interest in him, even from the Premier League.”
IN: Matty Taylor (Bristol City, free), Joel Cooper (Linfield, undisc), Sean Clare (Hearts, undisc), Dylan Asonganyi (MK Dons, free), Marcus McGuane (Nottm Forest, loan), Liam Kelly (Feyenoord, loan), Derick Osei Yaw (Stade Brestois, free), Sam Winnall (Sheff Weds, free)
OUT: Rob Dickie (QPR, undisc), Jamie Mackie (retired), George Thorne (released)
LOANS EXPIRED: Marcus Browne (Middlesbrough), Ben Woodburn (Liverpool), Nathan Holland (West Ham)
Matty Taylor (Bristol City, free)
Striker, 30, impressed on loan last season scoring 17 goals. Has now signed permanently following his release by Bristol City.
“Something in me wanted to hopefully put right what happened in the (Play-Off) final,” he said. “I’d like nothing more than to get promoted with my hometown club.”
Sam Winnall (Sheff Weds, free)
Versatile forward, 29, helped fire Barnsley to League One promotion in 2016. He’s struggled for game time at Sheffield Wednesday over the last four seasons, mainly due to injuries.
U’s boss Robinson said: “It was important that we had another experienced striker in the building before the season starts and Sam has scored goals and caused problems for defences wherever he has been. It’s an exciting signing and another piece in the jigsaw for us.”
Joel Cooper (Linfield, undisclosed)
Winger, 24, has twice won the Northern Irish league. He scored 13 goals and created 17 prior to last season being brought to a halt.
He said: “I’d say I was very direct, I don’t really like playing backwards. I try to score and create something.”
Sean Clare (Hearts, undisclosed)
Attack-minded right-back has proved a big hit in Scotland over the past two years.
The 23-year-old Londoner returns to England having started his career at Sheffield Wednesday where he had loan spells away at Bury, Accrington and Gillingham.
He said: “Oxford always play an exciting style of football which will hopefully suit the way I want to play. They went close to promotion last season but are adding good players to a very strong squad and I know they are very ambitious to keep pushing on from this position.”
Dylan Asonganyi (MK Dons, free)
Teenage striker, 19, is re-united with manager Karl Robinson.
“He is very talented,” said the MK boss. “As a kid there were a lot of clubs looking at him but he suffered an injury. We think he will come here determined to show what he can truly do.”
Marcus McGuane (Nottm Forest, loan)
The 21-year-old former Arsenal trainee joined Barcelona B on a three-year deal in January 2018 and became the first Englishman since Gary Lineker to play for their first team in March 2018. He signed for Forest in February this year.
“There’s been a lot of up and downs but I’m ready to fight for my place and the team,” said the midfielder.
Liam Kelly (Feyenoord, loan)
Former Reading midfielder, 24, returns for another loan spell. He made five appearances for the U’s in the second half of last season, including the Play-Off Final defeat to Wycombe.
He said: “It’s a little bit of unfinished business for me after the way last season ended.”
Derick Osei Yaw (Stade Brestois, free)
The 21-year-old striker played for France up to U20 level. He was signed following a trial.
“He is big and strong and a real athlete,” said U’s boss Robinson. “He came into the group as a bit of an unknown quantity but he did really well and we look forward to working with him.”
IN: Sean Raggett (Norwich, free), Cameron Pring (Bristol City, loan), Michael Jacobs (Wigan, free), Callum Johnson (Accrington Stanley, £200k), Rasmus Nicolaisen (FC Midtjylland, loan)
OUT: Christian Burgess (Union SG, free), Oli Hawkins (Ipswich, free), Brandon Haunstrup (Kilmarnock, free), Brett Pitman (Swindon, free), Gareth Evans (Bradford, free)
LOANS EXPIRED: Ross McCrorie (Rangers), Steve Seddon (Birmingham), Cameron McGeehan (Barnsley)
Sean Raggett (Norwich, free)
Former Lincoln centre-back signs permanently after playing 38 times for the club on loan last season.
Boss Kenny Jackett said: “It took Sean a while to get over the injury he had at the start of last season, but he improved greatly as we progressed and I think there’s more of that to come.”
Cameron Pring (Bristol City, loan)
Left-back, 22, fills the void left by Steve Seddon at Fratton Park. He’s had League Two loan spells with Newport, Cheltenham and Walsall.
“Cameron’s an up-and-coming, talented footballer, who I feel can do a really good job for us this season,” said boss Jackett.
“Rather than just sitting around at Bristol City, he’s been out on a lot of loans and that’s helped him develop.”
Michael Jacobs (Wigan, free)
The 28-year-old ex Northampton, Derby, Wolves and Wigan winger has played in the second-tier most of his career.
“Michael’s an exciting player with good Championship experience,” said Pompey boss Jackett.
Callum Johnson (Accrington Stanley, £200k)
Right-back, 23, played a key role in helping Accrington reach and stay in League One. He had Championship admirers.
Jackett said: “Callum is only young, but has already gained a lot of experience over the past few years.”
Rasmus Nicolaisen (FC Midtjylland, loan)
Centre-back, 23, joins on loan from Danish champions FC Midtjylland.
Pompey boss Jackett said they “worked hard” to find the left-footed defender and it was “the right time to branch out into the European market”.
IN: Callum Camps (Rochdale, free), Jordan Rossiter (Rangers, free), Morgan Boyes (Liverpool, loan), Joel Coleman (Huddersfield, free), Mark Duffy (Sheffield Utd, free), Jayson Leutwiler (Blackburn, free), Sam Stubbs (Middlesbrough, undisc), Sam Finley (Accrington Stanley, free)
OUT: Lewie Coyle (Hull, £350k), Ashley Hunter (Salford, undisc), Matt Gilks (Bolton, free), Kyle Dempsey (Gillingham, free), Conor McAleny (Oldham, free), Billy Crellin (Bolton, loan), Jack Sowerby (Northampton, undisc)
LOANS EXPIRED: Harry Souttar (Stoke), Callum Connolly, Lewis Gibson (both Everton), Barrie McKay (Swansea)
Jordan Rossiter (Rangers, free)
Ex Liverpool midfielder, 23, was on loan at Fleetwood last season but saw his campaign ended in November by a knee injury.
He said: “I’m just building up my fitness. I can’t wait to repay the faith everybody showed in me here.”
Callum Camps (Rochdale, free)
Rochdale reluctantly had to let him go, for financial reasons, at the end of his contract. The 24-year-old, who scored eight goals from midfield last season, had plenty of suitors.
He said: “The way he (Joey Barton) spoke about football, all the stats and details that he goes through from the games, it’s obvious he wants everyone to get better and the team to progress. The squad they have got already here is, on paper, a lot better than many teams in the league.”
Morgan Boyes (Liverpool, loan)
Young centre-back, 19, was part of Liverpool’s FA Youth Cup winning team of 2018/19. He’s made two first-team appearances for the Premier League champions and played seven games for Wales Under-19s.
“I wanted to come here on how big the club is and how they play football,” said the teenager.
“I like their style of play and what they’re aiming for and stuff like that. It really roped me in.
“When you think about League One you think it could be a bit of this or that, but when you arrive here and see the facilities and the staff and the place, you think this is the real deal.”
Joel Coleman (Huddersfield, free)
Goalkeeper, 24, played a part in the Terriers’ promotion to the Premier League in 2017 but featured just four times for them in the Championship last season. He has previous League One experience with Oldham.
He said: “I’m just hoping that we can push this year and do one better than the club did last season.
“Joey Barton said that he likes my style of play, he encourages you to play out from the back and that’s what I want to do as well.”
Mark Duffy (Sheffield Utd, free)
Experienced midfielder, 34, was a key part of the Sheffield United side which rose from League One to the Premier League and is re-united with former Blades team-mate Paul Coutts. He had loan spells at Stoke and Dutch side ADO Den Haag last season.
“Joey (Barton) just wanted me to come in and enjoy my football and show the quality that I have and what I can bring to the team,” said Duffy. “He thinks it is something different to what we already have.”
Sam Stubbs (Middlesbrough, undisclosed)
Centre-back, 21, is the son of former Everton and Celtic player Alan.
An Everton youth graduate, he did not make a senior appearance at Middlesbrough. There were loan spells at Notts County, Hamilton Academical (Scotland) and ADO Den Haag (Holland).
Sam Finley (Accrington Stanley, free)
Midfielder, 28, played in the Welsh League for The New Saints, then in non-league for Wrexham and AFC Fylde before spending the last two seasons in League One with Accrington Stanley.
Jayson Leutwiler (Blackburn, free)
Canadian goalkeeper, 31, played just 13 times in three seasons at Ewood Park but made 140 appearances in the previous three years while with Shrewsbury.
He was recruited after earlier summer signing, Joel Coleman, was ruled out for a number of months with a hamstring injury.
IN: Jonson Clarke-Harris (Bristol Rovers, £1.25m), Sammie Szmodics (Bristol City, £1m), Daniel Gyollai (Wigan, free), Ronnie Edwards (Barnet, undisc), Ethan Hamilton (Man Utd, free), Reece Brown (Huddersfield, loan), Ryan Broom (Cheltenham, undisc)
OUT: Ivan Toney (Brentford, £5m), George Cooper (Plymouth, undisc), Mark O’Hara (Motherwell, nominal), Alex Woodyard (AFC Wimbledon, free), Marcus Maddison, Rhys Bennett (both released)
LOANS EXPIRED: Josh Knight (Leicester)
Jonson Clarke-Harris (Bristol Rovers, £1.25m)
Powerful forward scored 28 goals in 52 games for Rovers. The South West club reluctantly had to cash in as he entered the final year of his contract.
“Jonson was our number one target,” said Posh boss Darren Ferguson. “His goal-scoring record in the past two seasons has been very, very good.
“He gives us the physicality that we may lose with Ivan (Toney).”
Sammie Szmodics (Bristol City, £1m)
Posh worked hard to strike a deal to sign the popular loanee on a permanent basis. The attacking midfielder scored four goals in 10 matches during a loan spell at the back end of last season.
“It is a really big signing for us,” said Ferguson.
Ronnie Edwards (Barnet, undisclosed)
The 17-year-old, who can play defence or midfield, only made his Barnet debut last December. Posh decided to sign him after he impressed during a recent trial game.
Posh boss Darren Ferguson said: “Within 20 minutes (of the trial game) I had made my mind up. He is a lovely lad, very mature for a 17-year-old, and we believe he has real potential.”
Daniel Gyollai (Wigan, free)
Hungarian keeper, 23, is yet to make a senior appearance in English football following spells at Stoke and Wigan.
“The club has a real history of giving young players a chance,” he said. “I can’t wait to challenge for the number one shirt.”
Ethan Hamilton (Manchester United, free)
Midfielder, 21, has previously spent time on loan in League One with Rochdale, Southend and Bolton.
Posh boss Darren Ferguson said: “He is a good size, a lovely footballer, left-footed and I think he will fit in really well.”
Reece Brown (Huddersfield, loan)
Midfielder, 24, returns for a second loan spell.
“He suited the way that we played and was a very impressive performer,” said Posh boss Ferguson. “I was pleasantly surprised we could get him back in the building.”
Ryan Broom (Cheltenham, undisclosed)
Versatile 23-year-old played a key role in helping Cheltenham to the League Two play-offs last season.
Speaking of the Welshman, Posh boss Ferguson said: “He has an abundance of energy. He has scored eight and assisted eight from midfield last season, he can also operate as a wing-back, although his preferred position is as a 10.”
IN: Aiden O’Brien (Millwall, free), Bailey Wright (Bristol City, free), Arbenit Xhemajli (Neuchatel Xamax, compensation fee), Remi Matthews (Bolton, free), Morgan Feeney (Everton, free), Danny Graham (Blackburn, free)
OUT: Jon McLaughlin (Rangers, free), Jack Baldwin (Bristol Rovers, free), Ethan Robson (Blackpool, free), Duncan Watmore, Alim Ozturk, Joel Lynch (all released)
LOANS EXPIRED: Antoine Semenyo (Bristol City), Declan John (Swansea)
Aiden O’Brien (Millwall, free)
Black Cats beat a number of clubs to the signing of the Republic of Ireland striker following his release by Millwall.
“I love scoring goals – it’s what I live for and hopefully I can bring plenty to the team,” said the 26-year-old.
Boss Phil Parkinson said: “I’m really pleased. He’s at a good age, he has experience of winning this division and he has played plenty of Championship.”
Bailey Wright (Bristol City, free)
Australian international centre-back, 28, signs permanently after spending the second half of last season on loan at The Stadium of Light.
The former Preston man said: “Although I only worked with the manager (Phil Parkinson) for a short spell, I really enjoyed the structure and discipline of the team. He expects his players to give everything on the pitch and be good people, and we have that culture within the dressing room. We are heading in the right direction and I’m very confident we can achieve our ambitions next season.”
Parkinson said: “He’s a very good player, but he’s also an excellent character and leader. There was plenty of competition for his signature.”
Arbenit Xhemajli (Neuchatel Xamax, compensation fee)
The 22-year-old defender recently made his first senior appearance for Kosovo. He arrives from Swiss club Neuchatel Xamax for a ‘significant compensation package’ after impressing on trial.
“There will be a period of adaptation for him, but I think he will be a quick learner,” said boss Parkinson.
Remi Matthews (Bolton, free)
Norfolk-born former Norwich keeper was busy between the sticks for Bolton last season. He started pre-season training with Ipswich, but is re-united with his former Trotters boss Parkinson in the north east.
The 26-year-old will look to fill the void left by last season’s No.1 Jon McLaughlin.
“This is a big signing for us because we have been trying to sign a goalkeeper and that process became very complicated due to the salary cap situation,” said Black Cats boss Parkinson.
Morgan Feeney (Everton, free)
Former England youth international centre-back was released by Everton at the age of 23 after failing to make a breakthrough at Goodison Park. He started 2020 on loan at Tranmere but picked up a hamstring injury on his debut.
Parkinson said: “He’s a player with excellent pedigree having been in and around the England Under-19 set-up, and he will bring added competition to the defence.”
Danny Graham (Blackburn, free)
Veteran target man, 35, is back with the Black Cats after four years at Blackburn. He played a key role in Rovers winning promotion from League One, but was used largely as an impact sub in the Championship last season.
Parkinson said: “He provides us with another option and more competition at the top end of the pitch, and he is another excellent addition to the squad.”
IN: Jason Lokilo (Crystal Palace, free), Josef Bursik (Stoke, loan), Taylor Richards (Brighton, loan), Ed Williams (Kidderminster, free), Cameron John (Doncaster, undisc), Tyreece John-Jules (Arsenal, loan), Andy Butler (Scunthorpe, free), Rayhaan Tulloch (West Brom, loan)
OUT: Kieran Sadlier (Rotherham, free), Devante Cole (released), Alex Baptiste (Bolton, free), Ian Lawlor (Oldham, loan), Matty Blair (Cheltenham, free)
LOANS EXPIRED: Ben Sheaf (Arsenal), Seny Dieng (QPR), Niall Ennis (Wolves), Jacob Ramsey (Arsenal), Kazaiah Sterling (Tottenham)
Jason Lokilo (Crystal Palace, free)
Winger, 21, signs permanently after making just one appearance during a loan spell at Keepmoat last season.
Rovers boss Darren Moore said: “He has been brought here because we believe in his talent and ability.”
Josef Bursik (Stoke, loan)
The former England youth keeper, 20, was on loan at Accrington last season. He’s a former outfield player, has taken attacking free-kicks in games and plays out from the back.
“I just took one (free-kick) in training, about 30 yards out, and dipped it over the wall and into the top corner,” he said. “I took one against Salford the next day, which was probably the best one out of the three that I ended up taking. I nearly scored.
“Coming to a team like this that likes to play football, build from the back, build through the thirds, I think it’s a really important thing. I like to think it’s a big part of my game.”
Taylor Richards (Brighton, loan)
Midfielder, 19, scored 10 goals in 29 games for Man City’s U23s before moving to Brighton last summer. He’s made one senior appearance for the Seagulls, in the EFL Cup, so far.
Brighton technical director Dan Ashworth said: “This move is a great opportunity for Taylor to get some good senior experience in a competitive League One environment.”
Ed Williams (Kidderminster, free)
Midfielder scored 15 goals in 50 appearances at National League North side Kidderminster. He signed for Rovers after a successful trial.
The 25-year-old said: “I’m a creative midfielder, someone who likes to create and score goals. I can play eight or 10, anywhere across the front three. It’s been a long few years for me in non-league and I feel ready to step up to the league and prove myself.”
Cameron John (Doncaster, undisclosed)
Centre-back has been signed permanently following last season’s loan spell at Keepmoat.
Rovers thought they didn’t stand a chance of getting the 21-year-old back given his form had attracted Championship interest.
Tyreece John-Jules (Arsenal, loan)
England youth striker, 19, scored once in seven games on loan at Lincoln last season.
Moore said: “He is a good finisher with an eye for goal. He is a good young player with a bright future ahead of him.”
Andy Butler (Scunthorpe, free)
Doncaster’s former club captain – and current boss of Doncaster Rovers Belles – agreed a deal until January 2021 following a successful trial. He’ll be 37 in November.
Rayhaan Tulloch (West Brom, loan)
Fleetwood and Swindon were both keen on the 19-year-old striker, but he is reunited with his former West Brom youth coach Moore.
He said: “I hope to create some excitement when I’m on the pitch and keep the fans on the edge of their seat during a game. I’m comfortable playing anywhere across the front three.”
IN: Ryan Jackson (Colchester, free), Vadaine Oliver (Northampton, free), Jacob Mellis (Bolton, free), Zech Medley (Arsenal, loan), Jordan Graham (Wolves, free), Trae Coyle (Arsenal, loan), Kyle Dempsey (Fleetwood, free), Alex MacDonald (Mansfield, free), Robbie McKenzie (Hull, free), Christian Maghoma (free agent), Scott Robertson (Celtic, loan), Dominic Samuel (Blackburn, free), Josh Eccles (Coventry, loan)
OUT: Max Ehmer (Bristol Rovers, free), Brandon Hanlan (Bristol Rovers, free), Regan Charles-Cook (Ross County, free), Mikael Mandron (Crewe, free), Ben Pringle (Morecambe, free)
LOANS EXPIRED: Alfie Jones, Thomas O’Connor (both Southampton), Olly Lee (Hearts), Jordan Roberts (Ipswich)
Kyle Dempsey (Fleetwood, free)
Creative midfielder, 24, was surprisingly released by Fleetwood after playing a key role in their top-six finish last season.
He is re-united with manager Steve Evans, having played under him during a brief loan spell at Peterborough in 2018/19.
“Kyle is a top talent and we are delighted he has chosen us over some very big clubs in League One,” said Evans. “He is simply a superb signing.”
Ryan Jackson (Colchester, free)
Right-back returns to Priestfield for a second spell after helping Colchester to the League Two play-offs.
Gills boss Steve Evans said: “The kid had four or five options. I have spoken to lads who played in League Two last year and they were raving about him.”
Vadaine Oliver (Northampton, free)
Striker, 28, turned down a new deal at Northampton after his eight goals helped them to League Two promotion via the play-offs.
The former Lincoln, Crewe, Mansfield, York and Notts County man said: “To get to that next level I thought it was the right decision.”
Northampton boss Keith Curle said: “We will only make offers to players that we believe are fair and reasonable and if they choose to take them and want to be part of the club then that’s great, but if not then we say our goodbyes and move on.”
Jacob Mellis (Bolton, free)
The former Chelsea youngster, now 29, played plenty of games for Barnsley, Blackpool (both Championship), Bury (League One) and Mansfield (League Two) before a short spell at Bolton at the start of this year.
Gills boss Evans said of the midfielder: “He did incredibly well during my time at Mansfield. He knows this level well, has incredible natural ability, a great engine, is tenacious, hardworking, and chips in with a few goals.
“I am delighted to have lured him away from two or three other clubs who were on the verge of clinching his signature.”
Zech Medley (Arsenal, loan)
The 20-year-old centre-back, who stands at 6ft 5in tall, has played for Arsenal in two Europa League ties, one FA Cup match and a further five EFL Trophy matches.
Gills boss Evans said: “The lad has taken his time, spoken to numerous clubs and he is a superb addition. He is actually a Medway boy, he went to school in Gillingham and his family still live here, in many ways he is one of our own.”
Jordan Graham (Wolves, free)
The winger, who has two brief spells with Ipswich in 2013 and 2018, has signed permanently for Gillingham following his recent loan spell at Priestfield. At the age of 25 he has just 33 league starts to his name so far.
Gills boss Evans said: “Jordan was one of our key targets. There will be a number of high-profile managers in League One who will be disappointed.”
Trae Coyle (Arsenal, loan)
Attacking midfielder, 19, joins his Gunners youth team-mate Zech Medley (see above) in joining Gillingham on loan.
The former England Under-17 international is yet to feature in Arsenal’s first-team but has played in the EFL Trophy for the London club.
“He is very highly thought of at Arsenal and his performances have made him a sought after loan player,” said Gills boss Evans.
“His attitude and work rate will determine his success at League One level because he is a very, very talented boy. He had a vast choice of clubs here in England, Holland and Germany.”
Alex MacDonald (Mansfield, free)
Former Burnley, Burton, Oxford and Mansfield man is another re-united with manager Steve Evans, having played under him at Field Mill in 2017/18.
Speaking about the 30-year-old midfielder/forward, Evans said: “Macca is a top class player in League One when he is focused. He’s not a big name signing, but a very good player who our fans will like very quickly.”
Robbie McKenzie (Hull, free)
Centre-back, 21, was in and out the Hull side during two seasons in the Championship.
Gills boss Evans said: “He is experienced at Championship level for such a young age and had numerous options when deciding his new club.
“He is excellent in any defensive position, including midfield, a terrific signing. Without doubt, he adds utility to a compact but talented squad of young men.”
Christian Maghoma (Free agent)
Former Tottenham youngster, 22, has spent the past two years playing in Poland with Arka Gdynia.
Speaking about the DR Congo international, Gills boss Evans said: “Christian is a big, powerful, no-nonsense central defender.”
Scott Robertson (Celtic, loan)
Midfielder, 19, has made just one appearance for Celtic.
“I’m very grateful to my friend Neil Lennon for believing we are the right place for Scott to continue his development,” said Evans.
Dominic Samuel (Blackburn, free)
Forward, 26, has scored 46 goals in 171 career games and lists Coventry, Reading, Colchester and Ipswich among his former clubs. He returns to Gillingham having netted seven goals in 25 games on loan during 2015/16.
“Interest came from the Championship’s newly promoted clubs, and top end of League One,” said Evans. “He’s a brilliant addition.”
Josh Eccles (Coventry, loan)
Midfielder, 20, was signed after playing against Gillingham in the Carabao Cup first round.
“Given the interest in the lad at our level I am delighted he has agreed to join us,” said Evans. “Our supporters will like this kid very much.”
IN: Stephen Ward (Stoke, free), Oli Hawkins (Portsmouth, free), David Cornell (Northampton, free), Mark McGuinness (Arsenal, loan)
OUT: Will Keane, Danny Rowe (both released), Jordan Roberts (Hearts, free), Idris El Mizouni (Cambridge Utd, loan)
LOANS EXPIRED: Luke Garbutt (Everton) Will Norris (Wolves), Josh Earl (Preston)
Stephen Ward (Stoke, free)
Experienced Irish international, who has just turned 35, has spent his entire career in England playing in the Premier League and Championship.
The former Wolves, Brighton, Burnley and Stoke left-back drops into League One to give Paul Lambert’s men some valuable leadership.
He said: “Hopefully, first and foremost, I can help on the pitch. I know what it takes to get out of leagues. I want to use that experience and help the young lads in any way I can.”
Oli Hawkins (Portsmouth, free)
The 6ft 6in target man, who can also play centre-back, arrives with a point to prove having slipped down the pecking order at Fratton Park last season.
“This is a new start for me and I’m looking forward to getting that buzz back,” said the 28-year-old, who started his career in non-league. “I still have my best to offer at this level.”
David Cornell (Northampton, free)
Welshman turned down a new deal at Northampton after playing a key role between the sticks during their promotion campaign in League Two.
The former Swansea keeper will battle Tomas Holy for the No.1 spot at Portman Road.
He said: “It’s another step in my career for where I want to be. This is a club that has high ambitions.”
Mark McGuinness (Arsenal, loan)
Centre-back, 19, was snapped up after impressing against Town in an early season EFL Trophy game.
The 6ft 4in Republic of Ireland U19 international said: “Heading is my super strength. I like to be the leader and take control.”
* Nigel Clough quit as manager. Jake Buxton promoted to player-manager.
IN: Steven Lawless (Livingston, free), Neal Eardley (Lincoln, free), Michael Bostwick (Lincoln, free), Kane Hemmings (Dundee Utd, free), Luke Varney (Cheltenham, free), Owen Gallacher (free agent), Kieran O’Hara (Man United, free), Jack Roles (Tottenham, loan), Indiana Vassilev (Aston Villa, loan)
OUT: Oliver Sarkic (Blackpool, free), Scott Fraser (MK Dons, free), Joe Sbaraa (released)
LOANS EXPIRED: Richard Nartey (Chelsea), Nathan Broadhead (Everton), Jamie Murphy (Rangers), Conor Shaughnessy (Leeds)
Steve Lawless (Livingston, free)
The 29-year-old has played north of the border all his career for likes of Motherwell, Partick Thistle and Livingston. Joins on a free after scoring 11 goals in the SPL last season.
Burton boss Jake Buxton said: “We also spoke to several people in the game that described him as one of the most consistent performers outside the top two in Scotland last season.
“He’s technically very good and is comfortable with the ball both out wide and through the middle. He reminds me of when I used to play against Wes Hoolahan for Norwich.
“He’s left-footed and he likes to get shots away on goal and chip in with assists. He was one of my top summer targets.”
Neal Eardley (Lincoln, free)
Experienced and versatile Welsh right-back, 30, has played in all four tiers of the English pyramid, making more than 100 appearances for three different clubs – Oldham, Blackpool and Lincoln.
“He’s a seasoned professional and that was interest from elsewhere,” said Buxton. “His promotions speak for themselves. His general quality of delivering the ball into the right areas is excellent, particularly from dead-ball situations.”
Michael Bostwick (Lincoln, free)
Experienced former Stevenage, Peterborough and Lincoln man quickly followed Eardley from Sincil Bank to the Pirelli Stadium.
The 32-year-old is equally comfortable in defence or midfield.
“We’re thrilled to be able to bring in someone of Bozzy’s character and experience,” said Burton boss Buxton.
“His amount of Football League appearances speaks for themselves and I’d once again like to thank the chairman in supporting me to get this move over the line.”
Kane Hemmings (Dundee Utd, free)
Striker, 29, scored 10 goals to fire Dundee United to the Scottish second-tier title.
The former Rangers front man was born in Burton and said he had ‘pushed a number of times’ to sign for his hometown club.
“I can’t wait to get started,” he said. “I’ve always had an affinity with the club and used to come and watch the games at both Pirelli Stadium and Eton Park when I was younger with my mates.”
Luke Varney (Cheltenham, free)
The former Charlton, Portsmouth, Leeds and Ipswich forward will turn 38 in September.
He returns to Burton as a player-fitness coach after scoring 21 goals in two seasons at League Two side Cheltenham.
Brewers boss Buxton said: “He’s an experienced player and is still as fit as a fiddle. We are very confident that he can still offer plenty to the squad at this level, both on and off the field.”
IN: Keshi Anderson (Swindon, free), CJ Hamilton (Mansfield, £200k), Jerry Yates (Rotherham, £200k), Oliver Sarkic (Burton, free), Ethan Robson (Sunderland, free), Marvin Ekpiteta (Leyton Orient, free), Jordan Williams (Rochdale, free), Alex Fojticek (Man Utd, free), Bez Lubala (Crawley, undisc), Daniel Kemp (West Ham, loan), Demetri Mitchell (Man Utd, free), Luke Garbutt (Everton, free)
OUT: Armand Gnanduillet (Altay SK, free), Joe Nuttall (Northampton, loan), Liam Feeney (Tranmere, loan), Jay Spearing (Tranmere, free), Mark Howard, Sean Scannell (both released), Ryan Hardie (Blackpool, loan), Nathan Delfouneso (Bolton, free), Calum MacDonald (Tranmere, loan) LOANS EXPIRED: James Husband (Norwich), Ben Heneghan (Sheff U), Jak Alnwick (Rangers), Connor Ronan (Wolves), Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Leicester), Taylor Moore (Bristol City)
Keshi Anderson (Swindon, free)
Left-winger got six goals and five assists for Swindon as they claimed the League Two title. He subsequently turned down a new deal.
The former Crystal Palace youngster said: “The head coach was a big reason in why I moved here. There are some big plans for the future.”
Manager Neil Critchley said: “I’m thrilled. He will bring a tremendous amount of quality to the team and at 25 years of age his best playing days are ahead of him.”
Jerry Yates (Rotherham, £200k)
Striker, 23, scored 13 goals during a loan spell at Swindon, helping them to the League Two title alongside the aforementioned Anderson.
He was linked to Sunderland.
Critchley said: “He’s honest and has a tremendous work ethic, which is something I’m sure our supporters will identify with.”
Oliver Sarkic (Burton, free)
Attacking midfielder, 22, was snapped up after he turned down a new deal at Burton.
The former Anderlecht and Benfica youngster, who couldn’t quite make the breakthrough at Leeds, said: “I spoke to Neil Critchley at length, having met him previously when I was playing in Portugal, and he explained the project that is in place here which really excites me.”
CJ Hamilton (Mansfield, £200k)
Left-winger, 25, joins after spending four seasons at Mansfield.
The former Sheffield United youngster said : “The vision that the owner, board and head coach have for the club is hugely exciting and I’m hopeful we can deliver the goods.”
Critchley said: “He will bring a real energy to the team. His speed is a tremendous asset in the attacking third of the pitch and he is extremely versatile.”
Ethan Robson (Sunderland, free)
The 23-year-old was released by Sunderland after playing just 14 games for his boyhood club. He spent last season on loan at Dundee (SPL) and Grimsby (League Two). A box-to-box midfielder who can win back possession and chip in with goals.
“It wasn’t an easy decision to leave Sunderland, which is where I’ve grown up and developed over the years,” said Robson.
“But, after speaking to Neil Critchley and hearing what he had to say about the team and where he wants to take it, I felt it was a journey I wanted to be a part of.”
Marvin Ekpiteta (Leyton Orient, free)
Big centre-back, 24, played in non-league for the likes of Witham Town, Concord Rangers and East Thurrock United before really catching the eye for Orient in League Two last season.
“I’ve spoken to Neil and the club is oozing positivity,” said the former Nigeria U20 international. “I love to defend and am also confident to play with the ball at my feet when the time is right.
Critchley said: “He’s an athletic defender with bags of potential.”
Jordan Williams (Rochdale, free)
Midfielder, 24, is re-united with his former Liverpool youth team boss Critchley having racked up plenty of League One experience at Rochdale.
“I’m confident, that with the squad they are building here, we will have a successful season,” he said.
Alex Fojticek (Manchester United, free)
Slovakian goalkeeper, 20, spent four years at Man United’s academy. He signs for Blackpool after impressing on trial.
Tangerines keeper coach Steve Banks said: “His commanding presence in the box is a real asset and he further strengthens the goalkeeping position at the club.”
Bez Lubala (Crawley, undisc)
The 22-year-old striker scored 12 goals in 32 league starts for League Two club Crawley last season after being signed from Championship side Birmingham City.
Boss Critchley said: “He’s an example of the type of player we’re looking to bring to the club – hungry, ambitious and has a great attitude towards the game.”
Daniel Kemp (West Ham, loan)
Midfielder, 21, has been playing with West Ham’s U23s and had a brief loan spell at Stevenage prior to lockdown.
“His technical attributes and intelligence will bring a lot to the team, and he strengthens us in the final third,” said Critchley.
Demetri Mitchell (Manchester United, free)
Left-back, 23, was released by Manchester United after making just one senior appearance. The England youth international, who is a set-piece specialist, has had two loan spells at Scottish side Hearts and trained with Sunderland earlier this summer.
Critchley said: “We feel this is the next step in his career, and we’re excited to see what he can bring to the team.”
IN: Sam Nicholson (Colorado Rapids, free), Max Ehmer (Gillingham, free), Jack Baldwin (Sunderland, free), Josh Grant (Chelsea, free), Jonah Ayunga (Havant & Waterlooville, undisc), Zain Westbrooke (Coventry, undisc), David Tutonda (Barnet, free), Brandon Hanlan (Gillingham, free), Luke McCormick (Chelsea, loan)
OUT: Jonson Clarke-Harris (Peterborough, £1.25m), Ollie Clarke (Mansfield, free), Gavin Reilly (Carlisle, free), Rollin Menayese (Mansfield, undisc), Sam Matthews (Crawley, free), Tony Craig (Crawley, free), Liam Sercombe (Cheltenham, free), Tareiq Holmes-Dennis (released), Tom Nichols (Crawley, free)
LOANS EXPIRED: Jamal Blackman (Chelsea), Jayden Mitchell-Lawson (Derby), Josh Ginnelly (Preston), Timmy Abraham (Fulham)
Zain Westbrooke (Coventry City, undisclosed)
Midfielder, 24, made 33 appearances for Coventry last season as they claimed the League One title.
“It is a real coup for the club,” said Rovers boss Ben Garner. “He has vision, technical ability and work ethic.”
Westbrooke said: “I played a big part in Coventry’s promotion and I’m looking to achieve that again here.”
Max Ehmer (Gillingham, free)
Rovers swooped to sign Gillingham’s captain, 28, as the Kent club put all contract talks on hold due to Covid-19 crisis.
Garner said: “He is strong, robust and proven at this level. He is also a good passer of the ball and effective from set pieces at both ends of the pitch.
“The other thing Max brings to us is leadership. I think we are signing a centre-back in his prime, who has the desire to get to the Championship.”
A quality replacement for the released Tony Craig.
David Tutonda (Barnet, free)
Zaire-born left-back, 24, helped Barnet reach the National League play-offs last season.
“David is very humble and his character will fit in very well here,” said Rovers boss Garner. “We also see the potential to really develop his game.”
Jack Baldwin (Sunderland, free)
Versatile ex Hartlepool and Peterborough defender, 27, was let go by Sunderland having spent last season on loan at Salford in League Two,
Garner said: “Jack has very good experience in League One but also retains the ambition to play at a higher level. He is a committed and intelligent defender who is also very good in possession. He has good leadership qualities and joins us with a point to prove.”
Baldwin said: “Ben knows the type of football that he wants his team to play and that style matches the way that I see myself playing. There’s a lot of positivity around Bristol Rovers.”
Jonah Ayunga (Havant & Waterlooville, undisclosed)
Kenyan international, 23, was joint top-scorer in the National League South with 17 goals in 30 games
Garner said of the ex Brighton man: “There was interest from a number of EFL clubs. I’ve been really impressed by both his desire to join us and his hunger to improve.”
Sam Nicholson (Colorado Rapids, free)
Scottish winger, 25, terminated his contract at MLS side Colorado Rapids for ‘personal reasons’. Bristol Rovers beat Nicholson’s boyhood club Hearts to his signature.
Garner: “He’s a dynamic player who can play on either side of the pitch. Sam is a great dribbler who can both create and score goals.”
Josh Grant (Chelsea, free)
Dynamic and versatile holding midfielder, 21, signed after impressing on loan at promoted League Two side Plymouth.
Garner said of the former England U20 international: “He is dynamic and has the technical and tactical qualities that we are looking for, plus I really like his character and mentality.”
IN: Rekeil Pyke (Huddersfield, free), Scott High (Huddersfield, loan), Josh Daniels (Glenavon, undisc), Marlon Fossey (Fulham, loan), Matija Sarkic (Wolves, loan), Shilow Tracey (Tottenham, loan)
OUT: Josh Laurent (Reading, free), Omar Beckles (Crewe, free), Joe Murphy (released), Romain Vincelot (Stevenage, free)
LOANS EXPIRED: Max O’Leary (Bristol City), Callum Lang (Wigan), Conor McAleny (Fleetwood), Kayne Ramsey (Southampton), Sam Hart (Blackburn)
Rekeil Pyke (Huddersfield, free)
Manager Sam Ricketts previously worked with the 22-year-old striker at National League club Wrexham.
“He’s 6ft 2ins, very quick and very strong, I believe he’s got loads of potential,” said the Shrews boss.
Scott High (Huddersfield, loan)
Midfielder, 18, made his Terriers debut on the final day of the Championship season.
“Scott is an all-round midfielder, who’s full of energy. He’s eager to come out and test himself with his first league loan,” said Ricketts.
Josh Daniels (Glenavon, undisclosed)
Winger, 24, scored 15 goals in 13 appearance as Glenavon finished seventh in the Northern Irish top-flight.
“He’s someone who’s stepping up from part-time football but has a brilliant desire and attitude to want to succeed,” said Ricketts.
Marlon Fossey (Fulham, loan)
The USA youth international right-back, 21, is yet to make a senior appearance for Fulham having had a long spell sidelined due to injury.
“He’s someone who I’ve been chasing for 18 months, so I’m delighted to get him,” said Shrews boss Ricketts.
“He’s really athletic, he can get up and down the line really well. He’s got a gymnastics background as well.”
Matija Sarkic (Wolves, loan)
Montenegro international goalkeeper, 23, came through the youth ranks at Anderlecht. Wolves have loaned him straight out after buying him off Aston Villa.
Boss Ricketts said: “He’s a very good, young keeper who did really well last year (on loan) at Livingston. We’re delighted to have him here at the club. He’s a really good prospect.”
IN: Lewis Montsma (FC Dordrecht, free), Jamie Jones (Crewe, free), Ethan Ross (Colchester, free), Conor McGrandles (MK Dons, free), Liam Bridcutt (Nottm Forest, free), TJ Eyoma (Tottenham, loan), Adam Jackson (Hibernian, undisc), Joe Walsh (MK Dons, free), Theo Archibald (Macclesfield, free), Remy Howarth (Cefn Druids, free), Alex Palmer (West Brom, loan), Callum Morton (West Brom, loan), Brennan Johnson (Nottm Forest, loan)
OUT: Neal Eardley (Burton, free), Michael Bostwick (Lincoln, free), Cian Bolger (Northampton, free), Josh Vickers, Jason Shackell, Tom Pett, Alan Sheehan (all released), Ben Coker (Stevenage, loan)
LOANS EXPIRED: Tyler Walker (Nottm Forest), Joe Morrell (Bristol City), Jake Hesketh (Southampton), Tyreece John-Jules (Arsenal), Conor Coventry (West Ham)
Lewis Montsma (Dordrecht, free)
The 6ft 3in Dutchman, 22, has been playing in his homeland’s second-tier.
He said: “I think it’s the perfect move for me. The style, the people, the supporters, everything is so good over here. I’m a footballing central defender and I can’t wait to play in front of our fans.”
Imps boss Michael Appleton said: “He is a physical specimen and I’m thrilled to have signed him. He uses the ball really well and is comfortable with both feet in possession whilst being very aggressive out of possession.”
Jamie Jones (Crewe, free)
Scottish midfielder turned down a new deal at Crewe after helping them to League Two promotion.
Three years ago the 24-year-old came close to joining Championship club Preston but failed a medical.
He said: “I’m a box to box midfielder and I’ll always give 100%. I like to get on the ball, run in behind and chip in with goals and assists but I also get back and do my defending too.”
Lincoln beat Gillingham to his signature. Gills boss Steve Evans said: “The deal was done before I could pick up the phone a second time. Michael Appleton (the Lincoln manager) has got himself an outstanding young player.”
Ethan Ross (Colchester, free)
Former Arsenal and West Bom keeper, 23, was back-up to Dean Gerken at Colchester last season.
He said: “I’m fully aware that I won’t be the only goalkeeper at the club and know I’m going to have to compete and fight every day.”
Conor McGrandles (MK Dons, free)
Former Falkirk and Norwich attacking midfielder, 24, played majority of games for MK Dons last season.
He said: “I think he (Appleton) has a real plan for how his team play and he has a real plan for myself, which I think will suit my style.”
Liam Bridcutt (Nottingham Forest, free)
Midfielder joins the Imps permanently after a recent loan spell.
The 31-year-old played in the Premier League for Sunderland and gained plenty of Championship experience at Brighton, Leeds and Forest.
“This is a fantastic signing,” said Appleton. “Not only is he a very good footballer and leader on the pitch, he is an outstanding character off it.”
TJ Eyoma (Tottenham, loan)
The England youth international right-back, 20, has been on the Spurs bench for several Premier League games.
He joined Lincoln on loan in January but didn’t make an appearance before the season was ended in March.
Imps boss Appleton said: “He’s a very strong and aggressive athlete, but also very comfortable on the ball. He’ll be a great addition to the squad.”
Adam Jackson (Hibernian, undisclosed)
Former Middlesbrough youngster, now 26, spent two seasons playing in the Championship for Barnsley. The centre-back subsequently scored four goals in 22 games for Hibs last season. The Scottish club ‘hold an interest in any future sale’.
“I’d like to think I am honest, reliable and hard-working and I’ll give 100% every time I wear the shirt,” he said. “I can also get the ball down and play in the style that we are looking to implement this season.”
Imps boss Appleton said: “He is comfortable on the left and right at centre half and is a real asset in both boxes.”
Joe Walsh (MK Dons, free)
Left-sided Welsh centre-half, 28, has played plenty of games in League One for Crawley and MK Dons.
He said: “I’ve spoke to the gaffer a few times and he’s sold the club to me. I love defending and like to play a bit which is the main reason Lincoln brought me here, to play football.”
Theo Archibald (Macclesfield, free)
Former Celtic and Brentford youngster was capped by Scotland at Under-21 level. The 22-year-old winger turned down a new deal at Macclesfield after scoring six goals and providing two assists for the lowly League Two outfit.
He said: “It’s exciting, there’s a lot of young players in the squad. When I spoke to the gaffer (Michael Appleton) and when I spoke to Jez (George - head of football), there was a plan for me. It felt like they wanted me and had a plan for me and for a young player that’s exactly what you want.”
Remy Howarth (Cefn Druids, free)
Attacking midfielder, 22, played for Welsh side Cefn Druids last season. He returns to English football having started out at Blackburn.
“He came in and from day one you wouldn’t think he would be a trialist,” said boss Appleton. “He has done ever so well in training and games.”
Alex Palmer (West Brom, loan)
The 24-year-old keeper was a key part of Plymouth’s promotion from League Two last season.
“He was on a lot of people’s lists because he’s a top quality goalkeeper,” said boss Lowe.
Callum Morton (West Brom, loan)
Striker, 20, played an influential role in Northampton’s promotion via the League Two play-offs.
Lowe said: “Callum came to the fore during the play-offs and every football fan would have watched him. We have a really strong front line now, we are delighted to have him on board.”
IN: Cameron Burgess (Scunthorpe, free), Ryan Cassidy (Watford, loan), Tom Allan (Newcastle, loan), Matt Butcher (Bournemouth, undisc), Mo Sangare (Newcastle, loan), Tom Scully (Norwich, free), Tariq Uwakwe (Chelsea, loan), Stephen Sama (Heracles, free), Rhys Fenlon (Burnley, free)
OUT: Jordan Clark (Luton, free), Offrande Zanzala (Crewe, free), Dimi Evtimov (CSKA Sofia, free), Sam Finley (Fleetwood, free), Callum Johnson (Portsmouth, undisc), Zaine Francis-Angol, Wilson Carvalho (both released)
LOANS EXPIRED: Jerome Opuku (Fulham), Josef Bursik (Stoke), Aji Alese (West Ham), Sadou Diallo, Benny Ashley-Seal (both Wolves), Bobby Grant (Wrexham), Courtney Baker-Richardson (Swansea), Connor Simpson (Preston)
Cameron Burgess (Scunthorpe, free)
Versatile defender – who can play centre-back or left-back – gained plenty of League One experience at the likes of Oldham, Bury and Scunthorpe. The 24-year-old was released by the Iron after spending last season on loan at Salford.
“Cameron was my main target over the summer and I am glad we got it over the line,” said Stanley boss John Coleman.
Ryan Cassidy (Watford, loan)
Teenage Irish striker, 19, scored the goals and wore the captain’s armband as Watford reached the FA Youth Cup semis in 2018/19. This will be his first taste of senior football.
“This was the year I had to step up and go out of my comfort zone,” he said.
Stanley boss John Coleman said: “He looks like a natural goalscorer. Players like him thrive when they come to Accrington.”
Tom Allan (Newcastle, loan)
The 20-year-old winger scored 17 goals for the Magpies’ Under-23 side last season and made his senior debut against Rochdale in the FA Cup in January.
He said: “Now is the time to make the step up and get some games under my belt in league football. I scored quite a few goals last year and hopefully I can do that this year and add to the team.”
Matt Butcher (Bournemouth, undisc)
Midfielder, 24, was released by boyhood club Bournemouth after making just two senior appearances. He’s had loan spells Yeovil, Woking and St Johnstone.
“To get him on a permanent deal is a big coup for us,” said Stanley boss Coleman. “He is a talented player, a big presence in midfield and I am looking forward to working with him.”
Mo Sangare (Newcastle, loan)
Liberia international midfielder, 21, has been a regular for Newcastle’s U23s.
He is back at Accrington having started out in their development squad and joins up with Magpies youth team-mate Allan.
Stanley boss Coleman said: “He’s a strong presence in midfield and we needed strengthening in there.”
Tom Scully (Norwich, free)
Midfielder, 20, came through the youth ranks at Everton before joining Norwich.
“Tom is an exciting prospect,” said boss Coleman. “He has a good pedigree and he has impressed since he came in. He is an attacking midfielder.”
Tariq Uwakwe (Chelsea, loan)
Midfielder, 20, has featured for Chelsea in the EFL Trophy.
“He’s an exciting player,” said Coleman. “Hopefully we can give him the platform to kick on and he can excite our fans when they eventually return.”
Stephen Sama (Heracles, free)
German centre-back, 27, came through Liverpool youth system. He went to VfB Stuttgart for a spell and has spent the last two seasons playing in Holland at Heracles.
“I’m just happy to be back around the area near Liverpool where I used to also play as a kid,” he said.
IN: Alex Newby (Chorley, undisc), Gavin Bazunu (Man City, loan), Stephen Humphrys (Southend, undisc), Yeboah Amankwah (Man City, loan), Jake Beesley (Solihull Moors, undisc)
OUT: Ian Henderson (Salford, free), Callum Camps (Fleetwood, free), Jordan Williams (Blackpool, free), Josh LIllis (Barrow, free), Florent Hoti (Dundee Utd, undisc), Aaron Wilbraham, Calvin Andrew, Ryan McLaughlin, Matty Gillam (all released)
LOANS EXPIRED: Rhys Norrington-Davies, Tyler Smith (both Sheff Utd), Robert Sanchez (Brighton), Luke Matheson (Wolves)
Alex Newby (Chorley, undisclosed)
Midfielder, 24, joins from the team that recently finished bottom of the National League.
He scored 24 goals in 94 games for Chorley – three of which won him successive goal of the season awards for the club.
“Playing in the Football League has been my goal since the start of my playing career, so I’m delighted that it has materialised,” he said.
Gavin Bazunu (Man City, loan)
Teenage keeper, 18, made his debut for Irish side Shamrock Rovers at 16 before getting snapped by Man City. He was recently included in Pep Guardiola’s Champions League squad for the Lyon tie.
He said: “This is the opportunity that I have been looking for. That’s where you gain experience and, how, I believe, you improve at the fastest rate, so I just can’t wait to get started.”
IN: Richard Keogh (free agent), Daniel Harvie (Ayr United, undisc), Carlton Morris (Norwich, loan), Louis Thompson (Norwich, loan), Warren O’Hora (Brighton, loan), Lasse Sorensen (Stoke, loan), Scott Fraser (Burton, free)
OUT: Rhys Healey (Toulouse, undisc), Alex Gilbey (Charlton, undisc), Conor McGrandles (Lincoln, free), Jordan Moore-Taylor (Forest Green, free), Jordan Bowery (Mansfield, undisc), Dylan Asonganyi (Oxford Utd, free), Joe Mason, Ryan Harley (both released), Ben Reeves (Plymouth, free)
Richard Keogh (Free agent)
Thee experienced 33-year-old was controversially sacked by Derby County last October. He suffered a serious knee injury while a passenger when drunken team-mate Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett crashed into each other after a night out, the latter two kept on by the Rams.
Now the Republic of Ireland international centre-back – who has bags of Championship experience – is getting close to a return to action, with October reportedly his target date.
“I’ve missed a lot of football and you’re getting someone who is going to be excited and hungry to play and push this team forward,” he said.
Dons boss Russell Martin said: “He probably turned down more lucrative offers to play here and, for me, it’s a massive signing.”
Daniel Harvie (Ayr United, undisclosed)
Former Scotland Under-21 international left-back, 22, said: “I’m an attacking full-back who likes to be aggressive and defend as well as I go forward. I’ll always make sure I work hard up and down the pitch.”
Carlton Morris (Norwich, loan)
Striker re-joins for another loan spell. He scored two goals in 10 appearances, playing a key role in the side’s resurgence during the second half of the season under new boss Martin.
Former Shrewsbury and Rotherham loanee said: “I’m feeling great and I’m looking forward to kicking on next season.”
Louis Thompson (Norwich, loan)
Midfielder, 25, returns for another loan spell from Norwich. He spent the first half of last season at Shrewsbury.
“He’s someone we really trust and he’s going to really improve the squad,” said boss Martin.
Warren O’Hora (Brighton, loan)
Former Irish youth international defender, 21, joined Brighton from Bohemians in January 2018. He played against MK Dons in the EFL Trophy last season.
“Warren is someone we’ve liked for a long time,” said MK boss Martin. “From our time watching under-23s football, he’s one of the best we’ve seen.”
Lasse Sorensen (Stoke, loan)
Danish youth international midfielder played six times for the Potters after the Covid-19 restart.
“He’s an excellent player and he’s got an incredible range of passing,” said boss Martin.
IN: Connal Trueman (Birmingham, loan), Cheye Alexander (Barnet, free), Alex Woodyard (Peterborough, free), Ollie Palmer (Crawley, free), Ethan Chislett (Aldershot, free), Jaakko Oksanen (Brentford, loan), Ryan Longman (Brighton, loan), Steve Seddon (Birmingham, loan)
OUT: Mitch Pinnock (Kilmarnock, free), Rod McDonald (Carlisle, free), Scott Wagstaff, Anthony Wordsworth, Kwesi Appiah (all released)
LOANS EXPIRED: Marcus Forss (Brentford), Nathan Trott (West Ham), Max Sanders (Brighton), Mads Bech Sorensen (Brentford), Joe Day (Cardiff), Julien Lamy (Rotherham)
Connal Trueman (Birmingham, loan)
Goalkeeper, 24, made 10 appearances in the Championship last season.
“He has been on my radar for a while,” said manager Glyn Hodges. “Connal is at a great age and he could potentially end up being the Birmingham number one so we have got him at a good time and he’s hungry to do well.”
Trueman said: “Everything that comes with the new stadium at Plough Lane is a massive draw.”
Cheye Alexander (Barnet, free)
Right-back, 25, has made more than 200 appearances in the National League for Aldershot and Barnet.
Boss Hodges said: “Cheye gets up and down the flank and has good crossing ability. Barnet play good football, in a similar way to us.”
Alex Woodyard (Peterborough, free)
He’s the midfielder who followed Danny Cowley from Braintree to Lincoln, helping the Imps back into the Football League.
The 27-year-old was a regular in his first League One season with Posh but fell down the pecking order last season and ended the campaign on loan at Tranmere.
“Alex is a high performer in the division,” said boss Hodges. “We are hoping that some of the younger ones around him will progress thanks to his influence.”
Ollie Palmer (Crawley, free)
6ft 5in striker turned down a new deal with Crawley after scoring 30 goals for the League Two club over the last two seasons.
The 28-year-old started out in non-league and has spent the majority of his career playing in the fourth-tier, his previous clubs including Mansfield, Leyton Orient, Luton and Lincoln.
“Ollie has scored a lot of goals in League Two and he’s a good size, a target man,” said Dons boss Hodge.
Ethan Chislett (Aldershot, free)
South African-born midfielder, 21, scored nine goals last season as Aldershot finished 16th in the National League.
Dons boss Hodges said: “He is a skilful player and we want to keep trying to evolve, to pose different problems to teams, and he we will give us a different dimension.
“Ethan is a player we knew about because he played in the same team as Nesta (Guinness-Walker, at Met Police).”
Jaakko Oksanen (Brentford, loan)
Finnish holding midfielder, 19, has made two appearances in Brentford’s first team. The Bees can recall him in January.
Dons boss Hodges said: “Jaakko will get stuck in and he has got a great engine, he will get about and put his foot in, but on the ball he can also see a pass.”
Ryan Longman (Brighton, loan)
Teenage striker, 19, has made just one League Cup appearance for the Seagulls. He impressed against Wimbledon in the EFL Trophy last season.
“I need to show the manager at Brighton (Graham Potter) that I can play men’s football and I’m ready for the step up,” said Longman. “I think coming to Wimbledon will definitely prove that.”
IN: Jonny Smith (Bristol City, loan), Diallang Jaiyesimi (Norwich, free), Akin Odimayo (Reading, free), Matt Smith (Arsenal, loan), Tyler Smith (Sheffield United, loan), Matej Kovar (Man Utd, loan), Brett Pitman (Portsmouth, free), Jordan Stevens (Leeds, loan), Joel Grant (Plymouth, free), Jonathan Grounds (Birmingham, free)
OUT: Eoin Doyle (Bolton, free), Keshi Anderson (Blackpool, free), Luke McCormick (Plymouth, free), Kaiyne Woolery (Tranmere, free), Michael Doughty (released for personal reasons)
LOANS EXPIRED: Jerry Yates (Rotherham), Steven Benda (Swansea), Rarmani Edmonds-Green (Huddersfield), Admiral Muskwe (Leicester)
Brett Pitman (Portsmouth, free)
Former Bournemouth, Bristol City and Ipswich front man found himself a free agent having dropped down the pecking order at Portsmouth.
“It’s exciting to join a club that got promoted last season and that will be going in the right direction,” said the 32-year-old, who has scored 166 goals in 489 league appearances.
Jonny Smith (Bristol City, loan)
Winger, 23, scored 11 goals and provided six assists on loan at League Two club Oldham last season. His parent club Bristol City have now placed him at a third-tier club who saw first hand what he could do last season.
“He’s bright in the final third, quick, he’s very tricky and his final product is very good,” said Robins boss Richie Wellens.
Matej Kovar (Man Utd, loan)
Czech Republic Under-20 keeper was a regular for Manchester United’s youth team last season.
“It was the right time to come here and get some experience in men’s football,” he said.
Diallang Jaiyesimi (Norwich, free)
Versatile attacker signs permanently from Norwich after impressive loan spell.
The 22-year-old, who had previous League Two loan spells with Grimsby and Yeovil, said: “There were a few teams that were interested but I trust the gaffer. He told me his plans and I’ve been there with him already and I know what he’s like.”
Tyler Smith (Sheffield United, loan)
Striker, 21, has gained League One experience via previous loans at Doncaster, Bristol Rovers and Rochdale.
He said: “I looked at the club last season and saw how they dominated teams, scoring loads of goals. League One is a tough league, but I think we will be more than fine.”
Akin Odimayo (Reading, free)
Centre-back, 20, was released by the Royals after making just one senior appearance. He spent last season on loan at Irish side Waterford.
He said: “The club has great ambition and I want to be part of that.”
Matt Smith (Arsenal, loan)
Midfielder, 19, has been on the bench for Arsenal several times – including the recent FA Cup Final.
“I’m very excited. I feel like it will be a good experience for me,” he said.
IN: Ofrrande Zanzala (Accrington, free), Mikael Mandron (Gillingham, free), Donervan Daniels (Luton, free), Luke Murphy (Bolton, free), Omar Beckles (Shrewsbury, free)
OUT: Jamie Jones (Lincoln, free), Nicky Hunt (Darlington, free), Paul Green (released)
LOANS EXPIRED: Chuma Anene (Midtjylland), Michael Nottingham (Blackpool), Stephen Walker (Middlesbrough)
Offrande Zanzala (Accrington Stanley, free)
Congolese striker left Accrington to try and get regular action at newly-promoted Crewe.
Boss David Artell said: “He has a good pedigree and a good back story. He was developed at a Cat One academy (Derby County) and is a good age.
“He had one of the best records for goals per minutes in League One last season. He later had interest from other League One clubs who were offering more money, but he said he had given us his word and was true to that.”
Mikael Mandron (Gillingham, free)
French striker, formerly of Sunderland, Wigan and Colchester, was in and out of Gillingham’s team last season, scoring five goals.
He said: “The key factor was the philosophy of the club and the way the club play. I knew it was a club that was focused on playing good football and playing out from the back.”
Donervan Daniels (Luton, free)
Centre-back, 26, has League One experience at Wigan, Rochdale, Blackpool and Doncaster.
He said: “They play a really good style of football here which I think suits me. I believe I can come and be a leader here, help the young group and be part of another positive season. I’ve been promoted at this level before and can bring that experience.”
Luke Murphy (Bolton, free)
Midfielder, 30, returns to the club he used to captain seven years on from leaving Gresty Road for Leeds United in a £1m deal.
He said: “Coming back is a great feeling – there’s no place like here. This is my home and I’m delighted to be back.”
Omar Beckles (Shrewsbury, free)
Versatile defender, who can play centre-back or full-back, turned down a new deal at Shrewsbury following three years at the club.
The 28-year-old said: “I went and did a bit of training with Wigan, so I’m feeling fit. It’s going to be a challenging season, but hopefully this young team can take some momentum from last season.”
IN: George Cooper (Peterborough, undisc), Luke McCormick (Swindon, free), Ryan Hardie (Blackpool, loan), Frank Nouble (Colchester, free), Panutche Camara (Crawley, comp fee), Lewis Macleod (Wigan, free), Kelland Watts (Newcastle, loan), Ben Reeves (MK Dons, free), Jack Ruddy (free agent), Jerome Opoku (Fulham, loan)
OUT: Antoni Sarcevic (Bolton, free), Callum McFadzean (contract expired), Joel Grant (Swindon, free), Ryan Taylor (released)
LOANS EXPIRED: Alex Palmer (West Brom), Josh Grant (Chelsea), Tyreeq Bakinson (Bristol City)
George Cooper (Peterborough, undisclosed)
Returns to Pilgrims permanently after producing 12 assists from left wing-back on loan last season.
“The boy has took a big pay cut to come here because of the circumstances surrounding the salary cap and everything else,” said boss Ryan Lowe.
“He wanted to be here, he wanted to play for me as a manager and my staff, and ultimately the football club.”
Frank Nouble (Colchester, free)
Former Ipswich striker joins the 18th club of his career (and he’s still only 28). He just helped Colchester to the League Two play-off semis.
He said: “The size of the club is big, the fanbase is brilliant. That won me over.”
Ryan Hardie (Blackpool, loan)
Scottish striker, 23, scored seven goals in 13 games during a loan spell with the Pilgrims last season. He’s a product of Rangers’ academy.
Boss Ryan Lowe said: “I watched his attitude, his application, his desire, his commitment, and I’ve seen he can score goals.”
Ben Reeves (MK Dons, free)
Midfielder, 28, has gained League One experience at Charlton and MK Dons.
He said: “I knew it was a big club, a club that’s been in the Championship before, and obviously a club that got promoted last year, so it’s on the way up again.
Panutche Camara (Crawley, compensation fee)
Midfielder, 23, turned down a new deal at League Two club Crawley. Because he’s under 24, Plymouth will have to pay a compensation fee.
The Guinea Bissau born player was let go by Barnsley before catching the eye in non-league with Dulwich Hamlet.
“I think the way Plymouth play is good,” he said. “They play good football, I appreciate that.
“I’ll bring running, so much energy, I give my heart.“
Luke McCormick (Swindon, free)
Veteran keeper, soon to be 37, turned down a new deal at Swindon to return to Home Park for a third spell. Will vie with highly-rated 20-year-old Mike Cooper for a starting spot.
Boss Lowe said: “He has got great experience, it’s obviously a club close to his heart, and he is a favourite of the Green Army. We feel Luke will provide good competition for the first team position.”
Lewis Macleod (Wigan, free)
Former Rangers and Brentford midfielder, 25, was part of the mass exodus at Wigan. The Glaswegian was a fringe player for the Latics in the Championship last season.
He said: “I’ve dropped down to play football... I like to get on the ball and bring others into play. I’m hoping that the style of play the manager wants us to go with here suits me.”
Kelland Watts (Newcastle, loan)
The 20-year-old left-sided centre-back made his Premier League debut as a substitute against champions Liverpool in July.
Former England U19 international spent the first half of last season on loan at Stevenage and the second half at Mansfield Town – both in League Two.
He said: “In the off-season, I was speaking to my agent and Shola (Ameobi), the loan co-ordinator from Newcastle, mentioned it. When I heard that Plymouth were interested, looking into them, the gaffer’s style of play – playing three at the back – it excited me.”
IN: Joe Nuttall (Blackpool, loan), Christopher Missilou (Oldham, free), Joseph Mills (Forest Green, free), Jonathan Mitchell (Derby, loan), Fraser Horsfall (Macclesfield, free), Luka Racic (Brentford, loan), Cian Bolger (Lincoln, free), Ricky Korboa (Carshalton Ath, undisc), Benny Ashley-Seal (Wolves, undisc), Jack Sowerby (Fleetwood, undisc)
OUT: Charlie Goode (Brentford, £1m), Andy Williams (Cheltenham, undisc), Jordan Turnbull (Salford, free), David Cornell (Ipswich, free), Vadaine Oliver (Gillingham, free), Alan McCormack (Southend, free), Paul Anderson, Reece Hal-Johnson, Billy Waters (all released)
LOANS EXPIRED: Scott Wharton (Blackburn), Callum Morton (West Brom), Lloyd Jones (Luton), James Olayinka (Arsenal)
Joe Nuttall (Blackpool, loan)
Former Blackburn striker was used mainly as a sub by Blackpool last season.
He was allowed to leave the Tangerines after Neil Critchley signed a number of new forward options.
The 23-year-old comes in to replace the void left by Vadaine Oliver and Andy Williams.
Ricky Korboa (Carshalton Ath, undisc)
Versatile attacker, 23, scored 16 goals for Isthmian Premier Division side Carshalton last season.
“The signing of Ricky shows the reach of our scouting and recruitment work,” said Northampton boss Curle.
Christopher Missilou (Oldham, free)
Midfielder, 28, has spent the last two years in League Two having previously played all in his football back in his homeland of France.
Boss Keith Curle said: “He is primarily a defensive midfield player who enjoys the competitive side of the game. He senses danger and helps break things up. He can also step through the lines and he has a good range of passing ability.”
Joseph Mills (Forest Green, free)
He was one of League Two’s best performing left-backs last season, scoring eight goals and providing six assists.
The 30-year-old former Southampton, Scunthorpe, Doncaster, Reading, Burnley, Oldham and Perth Glory man returns to League One following a four-year absence.
“Joseph adds an excellent balance to us and gives us real depth in the wide positions,” said manager Curle.
“He is a real leader, he captained his former club and he is a character who will fit in well in the dressing room.”
Jonathan Mitchell (Derby, loan)
Another loan spell for the 25-year-old goalkeeper, who has previously been sent out to Luton, Oxford, Shrewsbury and Macclesfield.
“The challenge for Jonathan and (fellow keeper) Steve Arnold is to compete with each other and drive each other on,” said boss Curle.
Fraser Horsfall (Macclesfield, free)
Ex Huddersfield centre-back played non-league football for Kidderminster before impressing in League Two with Macclesfield last season.
“I think he is a great fit for us and we are a great fit for him at this stage of his career,” said Cobblers boss Curle.
Luka Racic (Brentford, loan)
After Brentford bought Northampton’s star defender Charlie Goode, they helped soften the blow by sending Danish centre-back Racic in the other direction.
The former FC Copenhagen centre-back, 21, has found game-time limited with the Bees,
He said: “I actually spoke to Charlie and he said a lot of good stuff about the club. It was a good experience to play in the Championship and something I now want more of. I just want to play football and that’s why I’ve come here.”
Cian Bolger (Lincoln, free)
The Irish centre-back, 28, has played plenty of League One football at Southend, Fleetwood and Lincoln.
Cobblers boss Curle said: “Cian is an experienced centre-back who knows his game and knows his strengths.
“He is very competitive and is an all in type of character who is not afraid of the physical side of the game.”
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