Randall Is A Magpie

Notts County did not waste any time diving into the market this summer as a week ago today, the club completed the signing of Sutton United winger Will Randall.

The 26-year-old was deemed as one of the clubs most influential players since joining them back in 2019, where he won promotion to the EFL and helped them remain there until his eventual departure to Meadow Lane. Unsurprisingly, Randall was a key target for Notts County and the interest did not begin post-season, as the Reedtz brothers admitted upon his arrival that he was in fact a mid-season target last campaign, but no deal was able to be created.

This is not the first time Randall will be experiencing life under the management of Luke Williams, as the pair spent time together whilst Williams was at Swindon Town. Not only is this an unsurprising move as the Gaffer has signed players already who he has worked with previously such as Aden Baldwin, but it also emphasises the level of attraction the club has currently as players who have been one of the better of the bunch at previous clubs are turning down new deals to move to Meadow Lane immediately after the promotion back to the Football League.

Why is Randall a perfect fit for the Magpies?

Well, there are a number of different reasons as to why I believe Randall is perfect for the system that Williams prefers and has played for the majority of his tenure as Head Coach so far.

The first being the ability to play not just as a wing-back, but on both sides. Randall has fantastic technical ability and has the joy of being comfortable to deliver with both feet. So, regardless of which side he is required on, he will be able to perform comfortably. As this is the case, it also adds to the squad depth, which is even more important with the extended number of players allowed on the bench on matchdays from five to seven. As we all know, wingbacks are essential to the way we defend and attack in this system and if we list the contracted options we have currently… Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Jodi Jones, Adam Chicksen, Richard Brindley and now Will Randall, the options the Gaffer has at his disposal now are exciting to say the least.

Randall also is an excellent set-piece taker, whilst also having the capability to play in the eight role It is common knowledge now that Notts play short from a corner but also sometimes play the ball directly into the box. Regardless of which we choose, Randall is perfect for both. It is not just corners, free kicks too. When you dive into his catalogue of different abilities, it is clear as to why the club were keen to introduce him to the set-up immediately.

When you sign a new player and it is not a name that may be familiar with many in the fanbase, it can be quite important to get an insight from those who have watched the player on a weekly basis previously. So, as that is the case, this week I was in contact with Mike Dowling from The Sutton United Talk on Time podcast, who in which very kindly delivered a detailed verdict on Notts’ newest recruit.

Here is what he said:

“During his time at Sutton, it would be fair to say Randall was a mixed bag. There were times when he was absolutely unplayable, but then there were times when he frustrated and seemed to go missing. But, there is no denying that he had a special quality that made him stand out as a key player and he was very well thought of. Afterall, if he did not have flaws, he would not have been available for Sutton United to pick up!

“Playing primarily as a winger, Randal was known for his direct style of play. He was a constant threat, particularly on the left. His knack of cutting inside and unleashing a shot with his right foot was a trademark move. However, his ability with the left foot did not quite match up, and that is something he will need to work on going forward, as it should be reasonably easy to work out what he is going to do… I mean, if I can see it, why does an EFL right back not?

“One of the interesting aspects of Randall’s game was his set-piece delivery. He was often overlooked as the man behind the ball during free kicks and corners, in favour of others, but when called upon he had a knack for putting the ball right where it needed to be. His defensive discipline is another major strong point, as he was often tracking back to provide cover or an outlet for the defence, showing that he contributes on both ends of the pitch. 

“In terms of his return in front of goal, Randall bagged 18 goals in 127 appearances for Sutton. While he was not the most spectacular goal scorer, he scored spectacular goals… I am sure that term should be copyrighted somewhere! His role in Sutton’s National League title win in the 2020-21 season was a highlight of his time at the club.

“A phrase coined by one of the fans about Randall was ‘made of biscuits’ as he does seem to get injured often and take some time to recover from them – suffered a dead leg in preseason and was out for several weeks if memory serves. Almost every time he went down, we expected him to be missing for a few games. His form in the last few months of the season was not up to usual standards, maybe had an eye on this move already? 

“Looking ahead, it is going to be interesting to see how Randall fares at Notts County. They’ve spoken highly of him, especially highlighting his set-piece taking, goal threat, and versatility as his key attributes. It is clear they see him as a valuable addition to their squad. 

“All in all, Will Randall’s time at Sutton United was marked by memorable moments and significant contributions, not least our promotion to the EFL for the first time ever and our Wembley trip. His departure leaves a hole in the squad, but also opens up opportunities for us to freshen things up and become less predictable. As a fan, I wish him well (expect against us obviously) and look forward to seeing what the future holds for both Randall and more importantly Sutton United.”

Randall became the first new face to sign for the club, shortly after the already immensely popular Jodi Jones committed his future to the club. Former Notts County winger Enzio Boldewijn was a teammate of Randall’s during his time at Sutton United and nicknamed the winger turned wingback as ‘Randalldinho’ and then later went on to mention that he in fact was ‘one of the better players at Sutton for the past two years and will fit the Notts style of play nicely.’ 

Notts have begun their summer business early once again, and as expected, the next month or so will be full of incomings and outgoings and that is something most certainly to embrace and be excited about. If the calibre of signings continue how they have begun, we are destined for another good season undoubtedly. 

Finally, a huge thank you to Mike at The Sutton United Talk on Time podcast for his honest insight on Notts’ newest arrival at the Lane and as always, COYP!

*Article provided by K-Ci Rennicks (Notts County Correspondent).

*Main image @Official_NCFC Will Randall joins Notts County from Sutton United.

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