Top-scorers, captains and Players of the Year... A look at the key exits from every League One club this summer
- Credit: PA
There have been plenty of big exits from League One clubs this transfer window. STUART WATSON looks at the main men who have left Ipswich’s divisional rivals.
Lyle Taylor (Charlton)
He scored 25 times to fire the Addicks to League One promotion, then bagged 11 goals in 22 Championship games. Lively front man subsequently opted not to play on after the Covid-19 restart and eventually signed for Championship club Nottingham Forest.
Experienced Northern Irish forward Conor Washington has arrived from Hearts as his replacement.
Centre-back Tom Lockyer triggered a relegation release clause to sign for Luton, while key loan trio Josh Cullen (West Ham), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea) and Jonathan Leko (West Brom) have gone.
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Alex Gilbey has been signed from MK Dons as a replacement for the middle of the park. It remains to be seen whether the club will be able to re-sign right-back Adam Matthews.
Chey Dunkley (Wigan)
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It’s been a max exodus at the DW Stadum following relegation.
The Latics would have comfortably finished mid-table in the Championship if it wasn’t for a murky takeover and shock points deduction late in the campaign.
Manager Paul Cook quit, while key men are being flogged by administrators.
Powerful centre-back Dunkley (Sheffield Wednesday) is arguably the biggest loss, while keeper David Marshall (Derby), midfielders Antonee Robinson (Fulham) and Joe Williams (Bristol City), winger Jamal Lowe (Swansea), plus 10-goal top-scorer Kieffer Moore (Cardiff) were also been part of the fire sale. Highly-rated youngsters Joe Gelhardt (Leeds), Jensen Weir (Brighton) and Alfie Devine (Tottenham) have also gone.
The future of the club still remains precarious.
Jackson Irvine (Hull)
After a collapse of epic proportions saw the Tigers go down with a whimper, players signed for a combined £20m had to be released in order to reduce the wage bill.
Australian midfielder Irvine will be a big miss given he has been a key man at the KC Stadium for three years.
Also let go was Eric Lichaj (captain), Kevin Stewart, Jon Toral, Markus Henriksen, Nouha Dicko, Stephen Kingsley and Robbie McKenzie.
Manager Grant McCann, who has League One managerial experience with Doncaster and Peterborough, stays on for the rebuild.
So far he’s signed right-backs Lewie Coyle (Fleetwood, £350k) and Josh Emmanuel (Bolton, free), plus midfielders Richie Smallwood (Blackburn, free) and Greg Docherty (Rangers, undisc). The experienced Smallwood, who has won promotion from this league before, will be the team’s new skipper.
Rob Dickie (Oxford)
Immediately after his side’s play-off final defeat to Wycombe, U’s boss Karl Robinson expressed concern that the vultures would come circling for his players.
Midfielder Cameron Brannagan has signed a new deal, but captain and star centre-back Rob Dickie – who started 49 games last season – has just been sold to Championship club in a multi-million pound deal.
Another big miss will be midfielder Marcus Browne. The 22-year-old did a super job on loan from Middlesbrough, helping fill the void left when Shandon Baptiste was sold to Brentford in January.
Oxford have signed former Barcelona youngster Marcus McGuane on loan from Nottingham Forest as his replacement.
Christian Burgess (Portsmouth)
The 6ft 5in long-haired centre-back was Pompey’s Player of the Year last season. He decided, at the end of his contract, to take up a new challenge at Belgian second-tier club Royale Union Saint-Gilloise.
Boss Kenny Jackett has also lost three key loan players in left-back Steve Seddon and midfield duo Ross McCrorie and Cameron McGeehan – all of whom started in their recent play-off semi-finals.
And it remains to be seen if a Championship club makes an offer that can’t be refused for 14-goal left-winger Ronan Curtis.
Pompey have signed a new left-back in Cameron Pring (Bristol City, loan) but still look short in several areas.
Harry Souttar (Fleetwood)
Towering young Australian was a virtual ever-present in the heart of the Fleetwood defence but has since returned to parent club Stoke.
Right-back Lewie Coyle has been sold to his hometown club of Hull for £350k too, meaning Joey Barton – like Jackett – will have to remodel half his back line.
That process has started with the addition of teenage centre-back Morgan Boyes on loan from Liverpool.
Ivan Toney (Peterborough)
Posh promised their powerhouse striker that they wouldn’t stand in his way if they failed to get promoted. Subsequently, last season’s 26-goal man was sold to Championship club Brentford for a fee that has the potential to reach £10m.
He has been replaced with Jonson Clarke-Harris (£1.25m from Bristol Rovers). That looks a shrewd addition, the 26-year-old having scored 27 goals in a season-and-a-half for the Gas.
Darren Ferguson now has to go and find a new No.10 given Marcus Maddison’s contract has expired and Sammie Szmodics is back at parent club Bristol City. Don’t rule out Szmodics returning though.
Jon McLaughlin (Sunderland)
The experienced Scot, 32, was one of the best third-tier keepers last season so it was a blow for the Black Cats when he rejected a new deal to sign for Rangers.
He’s been replaced by free agent Remi Matthews, a man who was very busy between the sticks for Bolton last season.
Beyond that, there have been no real big departures from the Stadium of Light this summer. Alim Ozturk started 20 league games last season, but two centre-backs have arrived in the form of Bailey Wright (signed permanently from Bristol City after recent loan) and Morgan Feeney (Everton, loan).
Kieran Sadlier (Doncaster)
After scoring an impressive 12 goals from wide last season, the 25-year-old rejected a new deal at Keepmoat Stadium and subsequently signed for newly-promoted Championship club Rotherham.
Donny boss Darren Moore has several holes in his squad to fill given the club’s heavy reliance on loan deals last season. First-choice keeper Seny Dieng (QPR), key midfielder Ben Sheaf (Arsenal) and starting striker Niall Ennis (Wolves) have all returned to their parent clubs.
Josef Bursik (Stoke) is the new loan keeper, winger Jason Lokilo has been signed permanently following a recent brief loan spell from Crystal Palace, while midfield duo Taylor Richards (Brighton, loan) and Ed Williams (Kidderminster, free) have also been recruited.
Whether these new men are at the same standard as those who have gone remains to be seen. And Donny look desperately short of striker options.
Max Ehmer (Gillingham)
The financial pressures of Covid-19 meant Gillingham weren’t in a position to offer new contracts. That opened the door for League One rivals Bristol Rovers to swoop for their star centre-back and skipper.
Ehmer, 28, played a key role in a team that lost just two of their last 19 games of the campaign. Since his departure, three young centre-backs have arrived in the form of Arsenal loanee Zech Medley (20), ex Hull man Robbie McKenzie (21) and former Tottenham youngster Christian Maghoma (22).
Out went main striker options Brandon Hanlan and Mikael Mandron at the end of their deals. They’ve been replaced by Vadaine Oliver, who scored eight goals for promoted League Two side Northampton last season, and experienced ex Mansfield man Alex MacDonald.
Luke Garbutt (Ipswich)
Played in a variety of left-sided roles for Town last season while on loan from Everton, providing a real set-piece threat as he scored five goals and produced three assists.
The 27-year-old is now a free agent after his long-term deal with the Toffees expired and League One’s new salary cap means he’s unlikely to return to the third-tier, despite the Blues and Sunderland having been keen.
Ipswich have already signed a replacement in experienced ex Wolves and Burnley man Stephen Ward.
The big question now is whether Town will be able to keep hold of star midfielder Flynn Downes, the 21-year-old having indicated he’s keen on a move to Crystal Palace.
Scott Fraser (Burton)
Midfielder was a key man for the Brewers over the past two seasons, scoring 16 goals and laying on a further 19 in that time. Stoke, Rotherham, Sunderland and Hull are among the clubs who have been linked to his signature now that he is a free agent.
Another big loss will be Jamie Murphy. The Scottish winger scored seven goals during a sparkling 10 game loan spell from Rangers.
The Brewers have also seen regulars Kieran O’Hara (keeper), Richard Nartey (centre-back) and Oliver Sarkic (centre-midfield) depart.
Versatile attacker Steven Lawless (Livingston) and ex Lincoln defender/midfelder Michael Bostwick will help plug some gaps. A new keeper is still required.
Armand Gnanduillet (Blackpool)
French striker top-scored for the Tangerines with 18 goals last season. He made it clear he would not be signing a new deal and has made a surprise move to Turkish second-tier side Altay SK.
Blackpool boss Neil Critchley has signed Rotherham striker Jerry Yates, who scored 14 goals on loan at League Two champions Swindon last season, as his replacement.
Key trio Ben Alnwick (keeper), Ben Heneghan (centre-back) and James Husband (left-back) have seen their loan deals expire at Bloomfield Road, while captain Jay Spearing has left for Tranmere and striker Nathan Delfouneso has moved to Bolton.
Keeper Alex Fojticek (Man Utd, loan), centre-back Marvin Ekpiteta (Leyton Orient), midfielders Jordan Williams (Rochdale), Oliver Sarkic (Burton) and Ethan Robson (Sunderland), plus wingers Keshi Anderson (Swindon) and CJ Hamilton (Mansfield) are part of the rebuild.
Josh Laurent (Shrewsbury)
Powerful box-to-box midfielder, who shone in an FA Cup draw against Liverpool back in January, had the pick of several Championship clubs after his two-year deal expired. In the end he signed for Reading.
He’s been replaced by 18-year-old midfielder Scott High, on loan from Huddersfield.
The Shrews have also seen defensive stalwart Omar Beckles reject a new deal, while starting keeper Max O’Leary is back at Bristol City following a loan spell.
Young American defender Marlon Fossey (Fulham, loan) is in, though a new man between the sticks is still required.
Jonson Clarke-Harris (Bristol Rovers)
The Gas reluctantly had to cash in on their star striker as he entered the final year of his deal, selling him to League One rivals Peterborough for £1.25m. The 26-year-old scored 27 goals in 52 appearances and leaves a big void, with boss Ben Garner on the hunt for a new No.9.
Ollie Clarke, Tony Craig and Liam Sercombe were all regulars last season, but they look to have been well replaced by the likes of Max Ehmer, Jack Baldwin, Zain Westbrooke and Josh Grant.
Tyler Walker (Lincoln)
Lincoln released 11 players at the end of their contracts – many of whom they’d have kept on if it weren’t for the financial pressures of Covid-19 – and saw five loan deals expire.
It left manager Michael Appleton having to completely rebuild his team, with regulars Josh Vickers (keeper) Neal Eardley (right-back), Michael Bostwick (centre-back), Jason Shackell (centre-back), Cian Bolder (left-back), Joe Morrell (midfield), Jake Hesketh (midfield) and 16-goal top-scorer Tyler Walker among the those gone.
Since then, nine players have arrived; keeper Ethan Ross (Colchester, free), right-back TJ Eyoma (Tottenham, loan), centre-backs Lewis Montsma (FC Dordrecht, free), Adam Jackson (Hibernian, undisclosed), Joe Walsh (MK Dons, free), midfielders Liam Bridcutt (Nottm Forest, free), Jamie Jones (Crewe) and Connor McGrandles (MK Dons), plus winger Theo Archibald (Macclesfield, free).
The Imps still look badly short of a goalscorer though.
Jordan Clark (Accrington Stanley)
Right-winger played 191 games over four seasons at Stanley, helping them get promoted from League Two and then established in League One. He scored eight and provided six assists last season and, with his contract having expired, signed for Championship club Luton.
Young Newcastle loanee Tom Allan will attempt to fill that void.
Stanley have also lost their two senior keepers from last season – Josef Bursik (Stoke loan expired, now at Doncaster) and Dimi Evtimov (released, signed for CSKA Sofia) – and are yet to bring in a new No.1.
Ian Henderson (Rochdale)
The 35-year-old forward scored 126 goals over seven and a half years at Rochdale, including 16 last season, and is the club’s second-highest scorer of all time. After declaring that he was ‘unbelievably upset’ to be released, he signed for League Two club Salford.
Dale have also seen two key midfielders join League One rivals on Bosman free transfers – Callum Camps (Fleetwood) and Ryan Williams (Blackpool).
Loan trio Robert Sanchez (keeper), Rhys Norrington-Davies (left-back) and Luke Matheson (left-back/midfield) will all be missed too.
So far they have only recruited 18-year-old keeper Gavin Bazunu on loan from Man City and goalscoring midfielder Alex Newby from non-league club Chorley.
Rhys Healey (MK Dons)
MK were not expecting to lose their talisman, but he made it clear he wanted to go to France when Toulouse showed interest and a deal had to be thrashed out. Boss Russell Martin is now going to have to try and replace a striker who scored 21 goals in 42 games.
Carlton Morris, back from Norwich for another loan spell, could step up now that he’s through the worst of some long-term injury woes.
The departed Alex Gilbey (Charlton) and Conor McGrandles (Lincoln) were key men in midfield last and are yet to be replaced.
Scott Wagstaff (AFC Wimbledon)
Ex Charlton, Bristol City and Gillingham man was a virtual ever-present in midfield for the Dons over the last two seasons. He’s joined Forest Green on a free transfer.
Another regular starter from their midfield over the previous two campaigns, Mitch Pinnock, has gone to Kilmarnock.
Alex Woodyard (Peterborough, free), Ethan Chislett (Aldershot, free) and Jaakko Oksanen (Brentford, loan) have arrived as replacements in the middle of the park.
Key loan men Nathan Trott (keeper) and Marcus Forss (striker) have been replaced by Connal Trueman (Birmingham, loan) and Ollie Palmer (Crawley, free) respectively.
Eoin Doyle (Swindon)
Irish striker scored an 25 goals in 28 games and to fire Swindon to the fourth-tier title. The 32-year-old then turned down a new deal at The County Ground to sign for newly-relegated League Two side Bolton.
Robins have also seen saw two of their other key attacking men from last season depart in striker Jerry Yates (14 goals in 35 appearances) and winger Keshi Anderson (six goals and five assists in 22 appearances), while it’s not clear whether attacking midfielder Kaiyne Woolery (two goals, seven assists) will sign the new deal which is on the table.
Boss Richie Wellens is looking at 46 goals and 17 assists gone from his 2019/20 squad.
Young striker Tyler Smith (Sheffield United, loan), winger Jonny Smith (Bristol City, loan – he got 11 goals and six assists at Oldham last season), versatile attacker Diallang Jaiyesimi (Norwich, free) and teenage midfielder Matt Smith (Arsenal) have arrived.
Jamie Jones (Crewe)
The 24-year-old Scottish midfielder was all set to join Championship club Preston in 2017 only to fail a medical. He had plenty of League One suitors when his contract expired this summer, Lincoln beating Gillingham to his signature.
Two experienced men who played key roles in the Railwaymen’s promotion were also released – defender Nicky Hunt and midfielder Paul Green. The former has been replaced by ex Wigan, Blackpool and Luton man Donervon Daniels.
Midfield reinforcements are still needed.
Antoni Sarcevic (Plymouth)
Pilgrims’ Player of the Year turned down a new deal to move closer to his home city of Manchester and subsequently signed for Bolton. The 28-year-old was the star man in the South West club’s team last season, scoring 11 goals (five from the spot) and providing six assists.
He looks to have been well-replaced with Lewis Macleod, the ex Rangers and Brentford man arriving on a free from crisis club Wigan.
Other key exits at Home Park include starting wing-backs George Cooper (who provided 12 assists on loan from Peterborough) and Callum McFadzean (who turned down a new deal) – neither of whom have been replaced.
Last season’s first-choice keeper Alex Palmer (who was on loan from West Brom) has also gone. Veteran glovesman Luke McCormick, 37, has returned to the club from Swindon to vie with highly-rated youngster Mike Cooper for the No.1 spot.
Charlie Goode (Northampton)
Cobblers’ captain fantastic has moved to Championship club Brentford for £1m. The 24-year-old centre-back was the driving force behind Keith Curle’s men securing promotion via the play-offs last season.
Northampton’s other two starting centre-backs from last season – Scott Wharton (Blackburn loan expired) and Jordan Turnbull (Salford, free) – have also departed, as has goalkeeper David Cornell (Ipswich, free).
The new-look back line will be keeper Jonathan Mitchell (Derby, loan), plus centre-backs Fraser Horsfall (Macclesfield, free), Luka Racic (Brentford, loan) and Cian Bolger (Lincoln, free).
Last season’s main strike duo of Vadaine Oliver (Gillingham, free) and Andy Williams (Cheltenham, undisclosed) also left. Front men Joe Nuttall (Blackpool, loan) and Ricky Korboa (Carshalton Athletic, undisclosed) are their replacements..