Runners and Riders

With double figure releases and a few loans returning, Rovers will certainly be expected a busy month before the new season. Joey Barton attracted a wealth of talented players in his last two windows and will hoping for a good one this summer as Rovers adapt to a really tough looking third tier. With Forest Green awaiting the trip to the mem at the end of next month, let’s look at the targets Rovers could make a move for before then.

Anthony Evans signed a new bumper 3 year deal!

Defenders

Rovers are looking very short defensively as it stands, losing the starting CB pair to their parent clubs and only really having two out and out full backs last season. They have already made significant improvement at right back with the signing of hugely talented Vale academy graduate James Gibbons.

Connor Taylor – Taylor was one of leading lights of last year’s promotion. The talented 20 year old has returned to parent club Stoke but it has been hinted that he may be tested in a League One role. Where else but the club he excelled at last season if so?

Myles Kenlock – Kenlock made steady progress as he came through at Ipswich as a teenager but has since fallen out of favour. The left back spent last season on loan at Colchester and is now a free agent. He’s over six foot, adept at getting forward and has plenty of untapped potential. He has also made over 50 Championship appearances.

Aaron Pierre – Rovers have previous with links to Pierre, going all the way back to his Wycombe days. The Grenada international is currently plying his trade at Shrewsbury but is in his final year. He loves a goal from a set-piece, scoring over 20 times in his career.

Martin Cranie – If an experienced head is what Barton requires then not many come as experienced as Cranie. He has played almost 400 EFL games, mostly in the Championship and even a handful at the top flight.

Angus MacDonald – Big Angus MacDonald is another experienced defender with plenty of games at a higher level than League One. The Scot has just finished two seasons at Rotherham and his contract is up at the end of the month.

Are Connor Taylor and James Connolly rekindling next season?

Midfielders

Rovers are actually pretty well adept in midfield as it stands. Anthony Evans signed a new deal in what could be the deal of the summer and Rovers have already secured the signing of former Liverpool prospect Jordan Rossiter. Rovers also boast the likes of Sam Finley, Paul Coutts and Josh Grant so could only need one or two more names in this area.

Luke McCormick – Luke enjoyed a personally successful loan spell at the Gas a couple of years ago and has since been let go by Chelsea. The playmaker played for Wimbledon last year but is destined for a move away and has been heavily rumoured with a return to the Memorial Stadium.

Callum Camps – Callum Camps has been linked with a reunion with Joey Barton since January and is now a free agent with nothing in his way. The midfielder has been playing in the EFL since he was 17 and turned down a contract renewal after 3 years with Fleetwood. His proposed move to Stockport seem to have died down so it seems Rovers are in a good position should they want him.

Reece Brown – Reece Brown is another talented midfielder who came through in the Championship with bags of potential. After a remarkable 3 successive loan spells with the same club Peterborough, Brown is a free agent and looking to find a club before Pre-Season begins.

Return of the Mc?

Wingers

We all did it again and fell in love with a loan player. Elliot Anderson brought the Mem to it’s feet every time he got the ball and helped carry Rovers to promotion. With it being highly unlikely he’ll be anything lower than the Championship next season, The Gas need his replacement and possibly some more cover for Harry Anderson.

Josh Morris – Morris is another former Barton man, having signed him at Fleetwood following his hugely successful spell at Scunthorpe. The wide man is currently at Salford but has failed to settle in after two seasons.

Scott Sinclair – Wouldn’t this be a story? Scott Sinclair was a Rovers academy prospect who got away. The talented winger played for teams as varied as Chelsea, Manchester City and Celtic before just finishing his last spell at Preston. Still only 33, he will feel he has a lot to offer and could want a fairy-tale ending where it all began.

Jodi Jones – Jodi Jones is another winger who is in need of a fresh start. The Coventry man spent 6 seasons at the Ricoh, in 3 different leagues! Most recently, playing 9 times in the Championship last season. He will become a free agent at the end of the month and will no doubt have a host of clubs on his tail.

Josh Morris scored 35 from the wing in just over 100 games for Scunthorpe

Strikers

Aaron Collins enjoyed a very pleasing first season for the Gas, firing in 16 goals as he helped lead Rovers to League One. Whilst he will no doubt feature very heavily next season, he is pretty much all the Gas have in terms of strikers. Rovers could even play with 2 up front so whether as a starter or rotation option, we certainly need a forward or two!

James Norwood – Talismanic figure James Norwood has a brilliant EFL record. The lively forward has scored almost 150 goals and has just been released after 3 years at Ipswich. He has recently been pictured with Barton and Rovers look favourites to pull off the signing.

Tyreece Simpson – Another Ipswich man who will likely leave this summer is striker Tyreece Simpson. The forward was sent on loan to Swindon Town last season and is still just 20 years old. Be it on loan or permanent, he could well depart Portman Road before the new season.

Cameron Ferguson – Son of big Duncan, Cameron Ferguson is a teenager who plays for Newcastle United. Should Barton seek help from his old friend Shola Ameobi once more, Cameron could be one to look out for. Sharing many characteristics with the old man, Ferguson will want to kickstart his career in a hurry.

Big forward man, James Norwood