Hit, Miss or Maybe? The verdict on Gary McSheffrey's permanent signings as Doncaster Rovers boss

Gary McSheffrey is busy scouring the market in preparation for his second transfer window since taking charge of Doncaster Rovers.

By Paul Goodwin
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 6:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2022, 6:30 pm

The summer transfer window will officially open on June 10 – although Rovers have already announced the signing of midfielder Harrison Biggins following his release from Fleetwood Town.

So how have we rated McSheffrey’s permanent signings to date?

Let’s take a look at the impact they have made at the Eco-Power Stadium and whether they are a HIT, MISS or MAYBE.

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Ollie Younger

Jonathan Mitchell HIT

The 27-year-old goalkeeper spent the majority of the first half of last season on the bench for Hartlepool United so his arrival in January, unsurprisingly, was met with an underwhelming response.

However, Mitchell quickly grabbed his opportunity with both hands. He displayed some solid handling skills and, compared to Louis Jones, his calmness appeared to instil more confidence in the defenders in front of him.

Three penalty saves had Rovers fans singing his name but he does need to work on his distribution.

Ollie Younger MAYBE

The former Sunderland defender made a dream debut in the win at MK Dons, immediately endearing himself to the Rovers faithful with a terrific defensive display (and the Terry Butcher-style head bandage for good measure).

He set the bar so high initially that perhaps a dip in form was inevitable and he ultimately finished the season on the bench and behind Ro-Shaun Williams and Joseph Olowu in the centre back pecking order.

The 22-year-old has the potential and also the versatility to be a very useful player next season but he needs a strong pre-season to force his way back into the starting line-up.

Adam Clayton HIT

If only. If only Clayton had got up to full speed sooner.

Rovers might just have survived the drop had that been the case, such was the 33-year-old’s impact on the team towards the end of the season.

He brought everything that had been missing in the middle of the park: leadership, communication, know-how, experience and defensive and positional awareness.

Rovers were significantly more robust and streetwise with Clayton in midfield and he is likely to be a very important player next season.

Reo Griffiths MAYBE

He’s got something about him, there’s no doubt about that. Anyone who witnessed his performance up at Sunderland will vouch for that.

There was that deft assist for Josh Martin in the final home game of the season against Burton Albion too. A touch of class.

Two goals in 16 appearances was a disappointing return in the end but his lack of match sharpness and injury niggles clearly held him back.

With a full pre-season behind him, Rovers are banking on the 21-year-old to really hit the ground running next term.

Rovers and McSheffrey made a noise about moving quickly to sign Agard in January but, on the evidence so far, it’s difficult to see why they were so keen.

The 32-year-old striker quickly dropped out of the team and then barely got a look in as Rovers continued to struggle for goals.

When he did finally return to the side, at Fleetwood in mid-March, Agard pulled his hamstring and his season was over without him breaking his duck.

He’s got a year left on his contract to prove he can still score goals in the EFL.

Harrison Biggins MAYBE

Let’s wait until he’s at least pulled on a red and white shirt to judge Rovers’ latest permanent signing!

On paper the 26-year-old certainly looks like the type of energetic midfielder required following Matt Smith’s departure.

If he can replicate Smith’s work rate and add goals and assists, Biggins could prove to be a very shrewd addition.