Paul Dickov is set for a busier summer than might have been expected after no fewer than 11 players were released last month.
Paul Goodwin looks at the players to exit Doncaster and the significance of those departures in respect of both next season and the current transfer window.
Replacing Furman’s energy in midfield and his ability to get from box-to-box has all of a sudden become a priority for Dickov, to complement the less mobile Richie Wellens and Paul Keegan. South Africa’s captain performed best last term in an advanced midfield role in a 4-1-4-1 system, supporting a lone striker by running in behind. His departure could now see that particular way of playing ditched in favour of a more traditional 4-4-2.
Rovers were well covered for wingmen prior to Bennett’s defection to Portsmouth.
His move to Pompey clearly leaves James Coppinger and Harry Forrester in pole position to start the new season out wide. It also opens the door for highly-rated youngster Billy Whitehouse, who has shown plenty of promise in the under-21s. Dickov might look to strengthen in this area but it is not a priority.
Dickov wants an experienced right back to replace Wabara.
The former Manchester City man has designs on playing in the Championship, although many Rovers fans are of the opinion that he is setting his sights too high. Those same fans might question Wabara’s defensive qualities, but his blistering pace and ability to play right back, left back or centre back will be missed - so don’t surprised to see Dickov bring in a versatile defender.
McCombe’s time at Doncaster had reached a natural end and it was the right thing for both parties for him to move on.
His lack of pace had become a bit of a running joke among supporters but his contribution during the 2012/13 title-winning season should not be forgotten. Key that season was fielding two big, powerful centre halves who knew the league inside out. Getting that consistency at the back next term will be uppermost in Dickov’s thoughts, as will recruiting at least one defender with a good turn of pace.
Razak was like a walking audition for Soccer AM’s ‘Showboat’ and, if anything, his disastrous spell at Rovers has just underlined the importance of signing the right type of player this summer.
Dickov described the Ivorian as a “low-cost” nothing ventured, nothing gained type of signing. But the Scot really can’t afford many more mistakes in the transfer market, with the onus now firmly on a top six challenge. The squad was top heavy with ‘luxury players’ last season but the exits of Razak and Bennett have already started to readdress the balance.
The much-maligned Robinson thrived on confidence but sadly spent the majority of his time at Rovers low on it. Nine goals in two seasons is a poor return. Dickov has to find a poacher-type and also a targetman to boost Doncaster’s goal threat.
Experienced Bywater could yet return. If he does, Dickov will want another senior goalkeeper to keep him on his toes. While Bywater’s shot-stopping was impressive at times, his command of his box was less convincing. More serious competition would force him to raise his game.