Transfers, they’re like buses aren’t they? After weeks of waiting, City are finally up and running in the transfer market.
After a quiet few weeks, Josh Morris seems set to join from Blackburn and Steven Davies has signed from Blackpool. Two players who look like exciting prospects, and then BANG, suddenly Andrew Davies is off to Ross County (Ross County - who saw that coming then?)
When they woke up this morning I wonder if the Bradford City staff thought: “Today is a good day to bury good news”. Because that is precisely what has happened.
Instead of talking about the merits of the new signings, the focus is all about the departing Davva. That is a real shame because, like it or not, Andrew Davies has gone. I have written before about the contribution that he makes (sorry, made), concluding that when he starts our points return is playoff-worthy, and when he is side-lined we amass an average points haul that would leave us mid-table.
All of that maths and debate is irrelevant now. Andrew Davies may be a history maker, but he is history too as far as Bradford City is concerned. We may not like what has happened but it has happened. He goes with our massive thanks but football moves on quickly and we must build again. Football teams do it time and time again. In that article about Davies, I wrote: “Why are we so much leakier without him? Why does missing one player make such a big difference to our defence and the amount of goals we let in? I’d look at that, and be looking to get it sorted as soon as possible.”
That is truer than ever. It could be critical to our ambitions next season.
A younger, less injury-prone Andrew Davies will be tough to find but heroes are replaceable. Gary Jones became Gary Liddle without much fuss. All is not lost. There had been rumours that Alfie Mawson might join us from Brentford, but he’s penned a three-year deal with Barnsley. I would be interested to find out if we offered Mawson a deal, and if so, what the length of the deal was. After all, it appears that Davies and Andy Williams – who chose Donny over us - were at least partly-affected by the length of terms offered by City.
So what of the new players? Steven Davies, a striker who was Derby County’s top scorer in the 2011-12 Championship season with 12 goals, has been described by Parky as a very technical player with a great left foot and quality in his all-round game. If words are anything to go by, then Davies sounds like he could be a good addition and unlike Jon Stead, who also leaves VP with our gratitude, at 27 age is on Davies’ side. He looks a good signing although a technical striker with pace would really get the Valley Parade juices flowing. Is Davies too similar to Hanson? Could the pair work together? Time will tell.
The other new signing, Josh Morris, is someone City faced last season as he was on loan at Fleetwood. I can’t say I remember him (or any of his teammates) making an impression. That is, of course, until the final few minutes. However, Morris looks like the tonic we are looking for. A left-sided player who scored eight times for Fleetwood last season is the type of player we are crying out for. He will hopefully provide great balance with Morais on the other flank, and his goal contribution is something that would have really made a difference last season – hopefully it can during this one.
There is still a bit of shaping until this squad is ready for a shot at the top six, and there’s now a pretty large Andrew Davies-shaped gap in the middle of defence to fill. With the revolving door consisting of one-way incoming traffic, hopefully that shape will arrive pretty soon, along with a keeper, another centre back, a couple of midfielders and a nippy striker.