Rochdale have been very active so far during this transfer window with; Andy Cannon departing to Portsmouth, Harrison McGahey moving to Scunthorpe, David Perkins signing for Tranmere & Brendan Moore leaving to go back to America to sign for Atlanta United. They have brought in a number of loans including Rory Holden from Bristol City, Ethan Hamilton from Manchester United & Ethan Ebanks-Landell from Wolves.
Sam Hart, Zach Clough & Conor Randall have gone back to their respective parent clubs, although at a recent fans forum by the club they indicated they are interested in bringing Zach Clough back on loan after he was injured for the most part of his initial spell. They have also extended Magnus Norman’s loan spell from Fulham after Moore’s departure.
As you can see Keith Hill knows he needs a reshaping of his squad after a poor first half of the season as the last thing he wants is another relegation battle in the second half of the season, with so many changes already this window fans may be forgiven to think not much more business will be done but I believe it’s important that the club press on and bring a couple more in.
My first priority would be securing another centre back as Ebanks-Landell was a great addition but the departure of McGahey still leaves Dale short at the back with Delaney & McNulty the only 2 first team centre backs contracted permanently to the club, although MJ Williams has regularly played at the back this season.
The next position I would be looking to strengthen is up front as Ian Henderson has been prolific this season, however, more goals are needed across the team to put some distance between Rochdale and the relegation zone. Whether or not the answer will be Zach Clough remains to be seen, as he was restricted to only three league starts and nine appearances in all competitions due to ongoing injuries. The board announced at the forum he went back to Nottingham fully fit again so perhaps he feels he may owe the club something for getting him fit again and come back to play a larger role for the rest of the season. If he decides he doesn’t want to I still think securing a fast pacey striker is a must.
Its often seen as tricky to secure permanent signings in January without spending some money as many players won’t walk away from contracts but I think Rochdale have to look at bringing in a couple of players permanently as they have to be careful on an over-reliance of the loan market as that could see them struggle once those players return to their parent clubs.