What Wrexham squad could look like next season if Ryan Reynolds spends £1m
Wrexham AFC fans gather for open top bus trophy parade
In case you hadn’t heard, Wrexham are back in the Football League after a 15-year absence. Freed from the doldrums of non-league football thanks to the investment of Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, the North Wales club is looking forward to a return to League Two after winning the National League with a record-breaking 111 points. Express Sport takes a look at who Phil Parkinson might be able to add to his 25-man squad next season and what the outlay could be.
Goalkeepers: Foster, Lainton, Howard
Wrexham pulled off a real coup when they managed to convince former England international Ben Foster to come out of retirement following injuries to regular ‘keepers Mark Howard and Rob Lainton.
The ex-Watford shot-stopper only signed a short-term deal but has enjoyed himself so much, he has not ruled out prolonging his stay into next season. If the Dragons can convince Foster to pen a new deal it won’t cost them a penny in transfer fees.
Defenders: Tozer, Barnett, Mendy, O’Connell, Tunnicliffe, Cleworth, Ihiekwe, Rose
Wrexham have benefited from having top performers like Ben Tozer in their ranks and Max Cleworth won the club’s Young Player of the Season award last season, but adding a couple of experienced faces wouldn’t go a miss.
Michale Ihiekwe has been one of the most consistent defenders in League One, since moving from Rotherham to Sheffield Wednesday on a free transfer last summer. The 30-year-old Scouser could end up in the Championship next season if the Owls are successful in the play-offs, but if that doesn’t come to pass, a bid of £500,000 might be enough to convince the South Yorkshire club to let Ihiekwe join the Wrexham revolution this summer.
Danny Rose has been without a club since Watford were relegated to the Championship 12 months ago. The former Tottenham star has recently been training with York City but if Wrexham are prepared to take chance on him, they could nab another top-flight player for free.
Midfielders: Forde, Jones, Cannon, O’Connor, Barnett, Lee, Young, Bale, O’Connor
Phil Parkinson has a host of dependable characters in his engine room, but if he really wants to add a bit of X-factor then convincing Wales legend Gareth Bale to come out of retirement would truly be the story of the summer.
It’s no secret that Rob McElhenney is doing his best to lure the former Real Madrid man to North Wales, but the signs are that he is resisting the urge. Stranger things have happened though. Just asked Ben Foster!
And how about Tranmere’s midfield enforcer Lee O’Connor? The 22-year-old has a year left on his current deal at Prenton Park and knows his way around League Two. The Republic of Ireland international is valued at around £260,000 on Transfermarkt and could be a solid addition to the centre of the park.
Forwards: Mullin, Palmer, Dalby, May, Cook
With 46 goals to his name last season, you could be forgiven for thinking that star striker Paul Mullin doesn’t need any help up top, but it was only a few years ago that he couldn’t get a start under Micky Mellon at Tranmere, before going on to resurrect his career with Cambridge United.
Phil Parkinson, will undoubtedly add more firepower this summer and his main target looks to be Cheltenham Town goal machine Alfie May. Recently voted the club’s Player of the Season for the second year running, the 29-year-old found the net 21 times this season in League One and is wanted by a host of Championship clubs. Transfermarkt value him at around £260,000 but despite interest from higher up the pyramid, it could be Wrexham who offer him the most lucrative terms.
Another safe bet for League Two is Andy Cook. The Bradford City striker hit 26 league goals in another stellar season and 29 overall. Having scored goals for fun pretty much everywhere he’s played, the 32-year-old’s Valley Parade contract is about to expire and would be an absolute steal on a free transfer.
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