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Caolan Lavery transfer listed, so should Paul Cook sign him for a third time?

The Wigan Athletic boss has worked with Lavery on two prior occasions.

Mathew Nash



Sheffield United announced their intentions for several players next season this week, by revealing their retained list. Not only did the club make clear just who was being let go this summer, but also who had been placed on the transfer list. One such player was striker Caolan Lavery.

The Canadian-born forward only joined the Blades from local rivals Sheffield Wednesday in 2016 but it appears he is no longer needed at Bramall Lane. He spent the second half of the current campaign on loan at League One side Rotherham United and is still with the club as they fight for promotion via the playoffs.

The Millers will surely represent one option for the Northern Ireland under-21 next season, but another team who might want to register an interest are already promoted Wigan Athletic.

There is little doubt that Wigan boss Paul Cook is a fan of the forward. In the past, he has signed Lavery twice.

Cook first snapped up the striker when he was the manager at Chesterfield. Lavery spent time on loan at the club in the 2014-15 campaign, scoring three goals in eight games.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

The following season he partnered up with Cook yet again. Lavery joined Portsmouth on loan, this time finding the net four times in 13 games – impressing in both loan spells.

There is little doubt that Cook knows how to get the best out of Lavery. With Wigan being promoted they will need to increase the size and quality of their squad. Lavery is a very talented attacker but, of course, is clearly not going to light up the Championship on a weekly basis.

However, he is someone that Cook can rely on and Wigan will no doubt need players just like him if they are to be a success in the Championship next season.

Lavery will likely be cheap and Cook knows what he is getting. Wigan should certainly go ahead and make this deal happen.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.


Millwall should raid Wolves again for Kortney Hause if Jake Cooper leaves

Millwall will need a replacement if Jake Cooper heads to Rangers.

Mathew Nash



Millwall are facing a fight to keep hold of their star defender Jake Cooper. The 23-year-old is Steven Gerrard’s top transfer target to finish his defensive overhaul at Ibrox. The London Evening Standard most recently reported a bid of £3 million and, despite Millwall saying he is not for sale, Rangers are determined to get their man.

In an ideal world, Millwall will keep Cooper. Hopefully, that does prove to be the case. But if not, they need to start planning for his potential departure.

Wolverhampton Wanderers success and influx has made them a happy hunting ground for new players in the past and Millwall would be wise to revisit Molineux for a potential solution.

(Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

The player in question is Kortney Hause.

Handed a new three-year deal in April the newly-promoted Premier League side clearly hold a lot of hope for the future of the left-sided defender.

But the reality is that the Goodmayes-born former West Ham United youth-team player is not going to be a regular in the Premier League next season.

Hause played just three times for Wolves last season, so it is hard to see him playing more now they are promoted.

A loan deal is surely a possibility and Hause would be an excellent recruit for any Championship club.

If Millwall lose Cooper this summer, then bringing Hause back to South London would be a fine move.

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Sheffield United may regret £10million deal taking David Brooks to Bournemouth

The Championship starlet is set to sign for Premier League Bournemouth.

Jake Jackman



Photo: Getty Images

Bournemouth are set to sign David Brooks from Sheffield United in a deal worth more than £10 million, according to the Bournemouth Echo.

There haven’t been many Premier League signings announced since the beginning of the World Cup, but the Cherries have managed to make progress.

For those that aren’t familiar with the 20-year-old midfielder, he is regarded as one of the brightest talents in the Football League after establishing himself in Chris Wilder’s team.

The news of a deal being close have come out of nowhere, but there were links made between Bournemouth and Brooks earlier this summer.

Supporters can consider this a coup for their club, as the Welsh international had previously been rumoured to be a target for Tottenham by The Sun.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Although they didn’t act on that interest, it underlines how highly he is thought of within the game and bigger clubs will follow his progress with interest.

Brooks is at the early stage of his development and he could benefit massively from working with Eddie Howe. Until now, he has been mainly used as a substitute, but he has shown his class in the handful of starts he has been given.

The standout performance came against Sheffield Wednesday when he was started in a central role. The 20-year-old wasn’t overawed by the occasion and delivered a display of the highest quality.

One of the key reasons he has stood out as a big talent is his dribbling ability. Brooks is excellent at quickly manoeuvring the ball to beat an opposition player and then move into the space created.

His end product needs work and his decision making can be questionable, but there is a lot to work with for Bournemouth.

Last season, he contributed three goals and four assists in the Championship, with a goal involvement every 164 minutes.

Considering his bit-part squad role, that is an impressive return and Sheffield United fans were hoping that 2018/19 would be a breakout year for him at Bramall Lane.

However, it now looks like they won’t get a chance to see the young midfielder in a Blades shirt again.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Sheffield United are a team on the up and they will have ambitions of challenging for a top six finish during the coming campaign.

Brooks could have been a difference maker for them if given a regular starting role. There were positive signs last season and he looked ready to make the next step under Wilder.

The decision to sell him is an understandable one, as they will be receiving a club record fee. That said, the reported fee of £10 million plus add-ons is one that will disappoint some supporters.

His potential is huge and he could be worth more than double that in 12 months’ time. They could be cashing in too soon.

On the other hand, if they can use the eight-figure sum to bring in two or three quality second-tier players, they could quickly transform themselves into a promotion contender.

The fact that Brooks wasn’t a regular starter last season means that it isn’t a disastrous departure, but there was a huge opportunity to turn him into the star of this team and that is now gone.

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Swindon Town

Phil Brown needs to keep his promises of developing Swindon Town’s academy prospects

The Robins’ manager has made a commitment to the club’s young talent.



Photo: Getty Images

Swindon Town have succeeded in tying down youth academy centre-back Joe Romanski, and Phil Brown now needs to keep his word when it comes to developing the club’s youth.

Romanski was one of three academy graduates to get some match action during Brown’s two months in interim charge, with the defender making his professional debut in a 1-0 defeat to Grimsby Town as well as the final 17 minutes in the final day’s 3-0 win over champions Accrington Stanley, a game that also saw Jordan Edwards get his first 81 minutes for the first-team.

Scott Twine saw the most football under Brown, though, adding four more matches to his tally, having made his debut in May 2018, and can be proud of his displays, despite the striker failing to net his first goal.

Robins fans seeing ‘one of their own’ on the pitch felt alien as, despite professing to use the youth set-up, previous manager David Flitcroft did not give a single league minute to academy players at Swindon.

Goalkeeper Will Henry and Tom Smith were limited to EFL Trophy outings, while Tom Ouldridge, Jake Evans and Twine were all loaned out to various non-league clubs over the course of the season, as were Henry and Smith.

Smith has been the poster boy for Swindon’s academy in recent years, and scored 11 goals over three loan spells at Bath last season, but Brown has decided to let him leave, much to the disappointed of Town fans who feel Smith did not get a fair crack of the whip.

Brown now needs to ensure that more promising talent coming out of the academy does not go to waste.

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