Rochdale has completed the signing of former Blackpool captain Jimmy Ryan on a two-year deal.
The 30-year-old, who has made nearly 400 career appearances, is Brian Barry Murphy’s fourth summer signing, and first permanent one.
Ryan has played for a number of different clubs in the EFL, including Shrewsbury, Fleetwood, Scunthorpe and Chesterfield.
So, here at The Football Manc Cave, we look at what the midfielder can offer at Spotland for the next couple of seasons…
As stated above, Ryan has made almost 400 appearances in the EFL. So if you need a signing that ‘knows the league’ and what it requires to be successful, he’s your man. It’s been made clear that Murphy wanted a midfielder, and to add experience to his side this summer, Ryan ticks them two boxes for sure.
He was named in 2010/11 PFA Team of the Year while at Accrington Stanley, while picked up Fleetwood’s Club player of the Year award in 2016, which shows he’s more than good enough at this level.
Ryan is predominantly a central midfielder, however, can operate on either wing too, which will be a big plus to Murphy later in the season. A majority of Rochdale’s midfielders are young, perhaps Ryan can be that leader in the middle that they were looking for, someone to play off and build a side around.
With Ryan in midfield, Henderson upfront and the added quality from the three loan deals, Murphy is starting to find that right balance between experience and quality. I think their squad is shaping up nicely ahead of their season opener on Saturday away at Prenton Park, against newly-promoted side Tranmere Rovers.