As we approach the beginning of our first season in the second tier since 2000, we have made 11 new first-team signings, with 2 players returning from last season.
We have spent a total of just over £1million in transfer fees in preparation, with a bulk of players joining on free transfers or loan deals. Our new affiliation with Chelsea has helped us secure the signatures of two players on loan without having to pay any of their salary, which has been very helpful.
We sold or released 6 members of our first team squad, with an additional one - Ben Gladwin - heading out on loan to League One for the season with MK Dons. With an income of just over £600,000 from player sales, our total net spend for the summer has been at around the £400,000 mark.
Following the expiration of Jacob Adams’ contract this summer and his subsequent move to Sheffield Wednesday, we needed a new back-up for our star keeper Joe Wollacott.
After a successful loan to Gap Connah’s Quay in the Welsh Premier where he kept 12 clean sheets in 31 games, David Robson joins us on a free transfer from Hull City. I think that Robson will do well when asked, though appearances may be few and far between for the duration of his deal here.
The first man through the door in defence was Queens Park Rangers right-back Osman Kakay, who has ended up becoming our most expensive signing of the summer, too.
Kakay became a first-team regular at Loftus Road last season in their League One title-winning season as we came behind them in 2nd place. Following a successful loan spell with A-League club Macarthur FC, he made 31 appearances across all competitions last season under John Eustace.
He has been brought in to replace the departing Sean Long at right-back and battle for his spot with Rob Hunt and Lawal Omoregie.
Also joining us in centre-back is Hearts’ Jordan Thorniley. The 26-year-old failed to break into a regular spot in the Scottish Premiership following his £10k move from Blackpool.
He has played Championship level football before with Sheffield Wednesday, making 20 appearances in 2018-19 but has played much more frequently and recently in League One with our fierce rivals Oxford United, as well as his former club Blackpool.
Towards the end of last season, we agreed a second season-long loan spell for Aaron Ramsey with Aston Villa in the Premier League.
I felt Ramsey did really well in the #10 role last season, making 35 appearances altogether, scoring 7 goals and making 5 assists in the role.
With his deal at Villa Park expiring in two years, Ramsey was far too expensive to try and make the deal permanent at this current stage of the club’s progression, but we hope to develop him and hopefully tie him down to the County Ground as soon as possible.
Joining us following his Middlesbrough contract expiration, Lewis Wing has signed a three-year deal with us as we looked to get better midfielders than Ryan East and Ben Gladwin.
Middlesbrough could not find a spot for Wing in their starting eleven last season despite an outstanding League One performance with Sheffield Wednesday the season before where he scored 4 and assisted 10 in 45 appearances for the Owls.
I think we have found a bargain here, particularly with good attributes from set-pieces which could be a key component to gaining points against stronger sides this season.
MK Dons’ central midfielder David Kasumu joined us shortly after Lewis Wing and the pair could link up in the middle throughout the season. An MK Dons academy graduate, he joins us for £180,000.
He established himself as a key part of MK Dons’ team, making 126 league appearances alone over four seasons in the first-team setup at Stadium:mk.
Edwin Andersson was the second loan player to join us from our new link-up with Chelsea, joining one week after Jude Soonsup-Bell became the first to join us from Stamford Bridge.
The young Swede has spent the past two seasons on loan, winning the Welsh Premier with The New Saints in 2022 before facing relegation with Livingston in the Scottish Premiership last season in what was a tough year.
I am hoping that his ability to break down the wing with his pace and dribbling quality can help deliver some good service to the strikers.
After a strong season with Leyton Orient in League One last season, Josh Neufville joins us permanently for £95,000 from Luton Town.
The winger has been reduced to loan spells mainly throughout his Luton career, with spells at Solihull Moors, Woking, Yeovil, Walsall and most recently Leyton Orient, we are hoping to finally give him a chance in the second tier that wasn’t available with Luton.
With his pace, dribbling, finishing and technique, we are hoping that he can prove to be a valuable asset.
The signing of Gremio attacking midfielder Patrick really caught the eye of fans, who had been expecting a more domestic and Western European style of recruiting.
Despite never playing in England previously, we were able to gain a work permit for the Brazilian who won the Gaúcho State Championship in 2022 with Gremio. During his 2021 loan spell with Brasil de Pelotas, Patrick was a star as he was involved in 18 goals in 45 games in Brazil’s Série B.
Patrick takes the number 10 shirt this season, like so many of his Brazilian attacking midfield idols have worn previously. We hope for a similar impact on the pitch in the Championship.
We had to bring back Jake Scrimshaw on a permanent deal following his amazing performance in League One last season where he scored 29 goals in 43 games in all competitions, also making 4 assists.
With Bournemouth selling Scrimshaw to us for a small fee of £26,000, we hope that he can prove their decision to be a poor one as we play in the same division as them now.
I can trust Scrimshaw to score us goals, so I am hoping that he can replicate his 2022-23 form into the new season in a higher division.
Jude Soonsup-Bell was our first loan move from Chelsea this season, as we look to create a challenge for Jake Scrimshaw up front.
Initially, we wanted to sign recently released West Brom striker Kenneth Zohore. However, the Danish forward was unable to get a work permit to play in England again so he was unavailable to us.
Soonsup-Bell has only made 1 first-team appearance for his parent club as he came on in the League Cup last year. The forward did come through Swindon’s academy, too, so we are hoping that the adaptability to his surroundings will come immediately.
Despite not gaining a work permit, we will be searching for a temporary loan club for our new signing Fidelis Osigwe who joins us from Australian club Canberra United.
The 4-time Australian would certainly be our best attacker if he was able to play in England, despite only being 18 years old.
In 13 appearances for the CU Academy, Osigwe has scored 6 times. For his country, he has already bagged 2 goals in 4 international caps for the national team.
It's a little bit disappointing not to do the whole thing but despite that, 83 points and automatic promotion feels like an incredible achievement for a newly promoted side! Really looking forward to the Championship now