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With that in mind, the five players that have bought into the squad are to develop strength in those areas - except for the extremely problematic right FB position - and what is particularly pleasing is that two of these five are United Kingdom born and bred. The other pleasing aspect was that the club was able to attract these players without paying excessive transfer fees or wages. The flip side of this of course is that it is fast developing a team of, albeit talented, regens, within three seasons.
In no particular order, the new Maidenhead signings:
Luca Pellegrini - Free Transfer ex Roma - Italian - CB/DMC/MC - Young Italian who was a 50-50 signing due to the sheer number of Italians (or players with Italian heritage) in the squad, but covers the central midfield and central defender position (currently used in the standard tactics) and gives the flexibility to play a defensive midfielder if the tactic is required.
Hector Perma - 240K – ex Rosario Central - Argentina - A/ML - A left midfielder who had been attempting to engage in contract discussions for the last year or more, and we finally had enough of a reputation to be taken seriously. Another with Italian nationality so didn't need a work permit, which is always a bonus. He will be looked to take some of the slack on the left flank, and share with Ibouzidene, who may even be squeezed into the midfield.
Bjorn Leerdam - 120K ex Ajax - Dutch - Left FB - Heir apparent for Helan, and gives a certain level of comfort knowing that Helan, McDonald and Leerdam cover this position. Leerdam skills outstrip Helan and McDonald, so he will take over the starting role, with the others providing options from the bench. It also means there won't have any qualms about accepting an offer for Helan should any avail themselves in the next six months - last season there was a 400K offer from Norwich which was knocked back.
These two following transfers represent coups for Maidenhead, and show how far the club has come in three short years.
Darren Bryant - Free Transfer - ex Aston Villa - England - A/MR/ST - This lad is an absolute beast standing at 2.02 metres, and while scouts were tracking him, it was a surprise that Aston Villa released him. Further, it was impressive that the dreaded red box didn't appear when attempting to sign him. He will be played on the right wing, in place of Hubbins.
Paul McKenna – Free Transfer - ex Celtic -Scotland - M/DC - McKenna was signed to give cover again, the squad have been extremely lucky with my injuries so far this season, and in the run in to the end of the season legs can get tired.
As a rule, players who are recovering from injury or with conditioning less than 90% do not make the match day squad. As such, having fresh players to cover positions in the starting squad is particularly important. Bryant and McKenna also are useful because they are UK based players, so speak English, and can be put towards fulfilling the home-grown quota in future seasons.
Onwards to the end of the season.....
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