Following the complete, unmitigated disaster that was the 21/22 season, Doncaster Rovers were left with a lot of work to do in the summer. However, they haven’t dawdled so far – it’s made for encouraging viewing.
Here’s a brief rundown and review of Rovers’ transfer activity so far, as well as a look at the work that still needs to be done.
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Firstly, Doncaster Rovers set out to find a new box-to-box midfielder, settling on Harrison Biggins. A former Fleetwood Town player, he appears to fit the mold quite snugly. Hard working and strong, he found the net on five occasions for the Cod Army last season in League One.
Rovers’ next foray into the transfer market resulted in the acquisition of George Miller. A man who was apparently in demand, he looks like a solid centre-forward for this level of football. Energetic and determined, he’s ideal for putting pressure on the opposition’s centre-halves.
Finally, arguably Rovers’ best signing of the summer so far, Luke Molyneux appears to be quite the coup for McSheffrey’s men. 12 goals, three assists and two player of the year awards, Molyneux is almost definitely a player to be excited about.
Joe Dodoo was very much a square peg in a round hole. Doncaster needed a powerful, hard-working target man who could hold the ball up and link attacking play – instead, they signed Joe Dodoo. A winger by trade, Dodoo was never going to be a success with the hand he was dealt (despite finishing the season as Rovers’ second highest scorer).
Hiwula, on the other hand, was a different story. He hit double figures at Bradford, Fleetwood and Coventry – at Doncaster, he managed just the one goal all season. He enraged fans with his bumbling touches and lackadaisical work rate – it’s bewildering how a player can fall so far so quickly.
Aside from these two, Rovers also lost John Bostock and Cameron John as their contracts expired, with Bostock choosing not to renew his deal. While they were evidently talented footballers, they also suffered from frequent injuries and missed huge chunks of the previous season.
What still needs to be done?
Rovers are still in need of a left back - while Tommy Rowe can perform an adequate job in that position, one can’t help but feel he is sorely wasted there. Rowe should be played on the wing, where he can create and score goals at a higher frequency.
A creative midfielder would also be welcomed. While Ben Close can potentially play this role, he shouldn’t be relied upon when his injury record is taken into consideration. As Rovers have yet to enter the loan market, a young, dynamic number ten from a Premier League club’s youth academy could fulfil this role for next season.
Additionally, an experienced centre-half wouldn’t go amiss. Olowu, Anderson, Younger and Williams are all strong players at League Two level, but you can’t help feeling that they are lacking a true organiser amongst them.