DAN THE FAN: Does Wakeling’s departure highlight bigger issue? – TrustSTFC

DAN THE FAN: Does Wakeling’s departure highlight bigger issue?

Dan the Fan

Swindon’s unbeaten start to their League Two campaign remains intact, but we never saw Town get out of first gear in a lacklustre showing in South Yorkshire.

After enthralling displays over recent weeks against Wrexham and Crawley, Michael Flynn’s side looked disjointed and laboured against a Doncaster side still looking for their first league win of the season.

Sadly, the performance on the pitch mirrored the feeling of the Town Faithful after a disappointing Deadline Day last week.

With areas in the squad needing cover going into a long season, I was disappointed to see no new arrivals but, with the free transfer window remaining open, that is where we will see new faces, hopefully in the coming weeks.

The only piece of business done on Deadline Day came out of the blue as Jacob Wakeling moved up to League One, joining Peterborough United for an undisclosed fee.

When I first read the news, my gut reaction was one of disappointment as the young striker made noticeable progress since arriving last summer from Leicester City, and despite not starting recently, he would’ve become an important squad player throughout the season.

With Rushian Hepburn-Murphy being prone to injury, adding a fourth striker to the squad needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, along with another centre-back.

Going by news from the North East, Town did put a late bid in for Hartlepool United striker Josh Umerah, who was linked with Milton Keynes and Wrexham during the transfer window.

Swindon’s bid was rejected, with it being below the asking price, and paid over three years, according to a local journalist.

A transfer fee paid in instalments is the norm in football, but over three years, and being below the amount already offered by other clubs seems like a token bid and not realistic.

As the weeks pass by throughout this season, my nervousness increases regarding the club’s finances.

I understand the club has been through an awful lot in the last few years and the money Clem Morfuni has invested saved our football club from becoming another Macclesfield or Bury, for which we will be forever grateful.

But our lack of financial power this season is affecting the playing squad, with Jacob Wakeling joining Ronan Darcy and Marcel Lavinier as players who’ve been sold for undisclosed fees and only loan and free transfers replacing them.

We know paying for a player isn’t a guarantee for success, but the uncertainty of building our squad on loan players makes me very nervous when we approach January, with Bradford City manager Mark Hughes refusing to say he won’t recall Jake Young early next year.

This Saturday, Town welcomes Sutton United to the County Ground in the third league meeting between the two sides at SN1.

Last season Town took all the points in an entertaining contest with Jacob Wakeling scoring the winner from the bench in a 3-2 win.

Town will be without key player Saidou Khan in the middle of the park as he represents Gambia in an African Cup of Nations qualifying match, knowing if they win or draw, they progress to the competition in January and possibly February.

With Matt Grey’s side struggling so far this season and currently sitting in the bottom two, Town will need to take advantage and repeat the ruthless display we witnessed a couple of weeks ago.