Transfer Targets – For Notts To Consider

Summer of 2024, and arguably the biggest in recent times as far as Notts County Football Club are concerned, is upon us.

Many of sides in Sky Bet League Two have already kick started their recruitment for 24/25, and some admittedly have hit gold with some free business and you only have to look at Antoni Sarcevic going in at Bradford City to understand what I mean by that. He was one in which I publicly had hoped joined Notts County. It can be argued that a number 10 is not something high on the list of priorities for the club, but someone who has a career that reads of multiple promotions at different football clubs is the kind of mentality I would like to see brought in this summer.

Admittedly, a worry of mine is the some of the names that have departed and the influence they have had on the changing room, such as John Bostock and Jim O’Brien. To reflect what is meant here, you only have to take a look at Jodi Jones’ personal statement for Bostock following his departure, and O’Brien’s impact and influence on the football club speaks for itself.

With this however, it certainly sparks interest in which direction the club is aiming to go in, especially considering the pool of free transfers that are currently out there that as it stands the club have yet to pounce on.

Geraldo Bajrami was the only player to be offered a new deal, and this I was a fan of. Why may you ask? Well, I think the most recent memory of Bajrami that we have was the game at the Racecourse in the National League, and if a decision was merited off of that display, it more than likely would have been a different outcome. Yet, I feel there is so much potential with Geraldo in League Two.

Last season we were impacted quite heavily from first midfield injuries, losing Matty Palmer in October was as costly as it gets, and across the backline. Bajrami has the flexibility and capability to play as both a central midfielder and a member of a back three and I feel that this sort of capability does not come cheap in the transfer market, hence the new deal.

I did fear that a new deal would not be offered, as he is the kind of player that secures another move to a League Two outfit and by Christmas the rest of the division are raving about how good he has been. Thankfully, as long as he signs the new deal at Meadow Lane and if this is to be the case, it will be the rest of the league raving about a Notts County player.

But, with six outgoings of John Bostock, Jim O’Brien, Aden Baldwin, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Luther Munakandafa, and two of last summer’s recruits in Will Randall and Aidan Stone being transfer listed, it leaves you wondering what the club are looking for in the market…

Bringing this piece along, as I take a look below at some players, I would not be surprised to see at Meadow Lane come the season opener in August.

Ethan Ross – GK (Altrincham)

The first shout for new goalkeeper, and one that may raise a few eyebrows. Yet, once explained, one I hope can be understood.

Last season was Altrincham’s highest finish as a football club since their founding in 1891, finishing fourth in the Vanarama National League. Ross played a pivotal role in this, keeping 10 clean sheets for his efforts. Ross missed a period in the new year through injury, which saw him side-lined from January 27th to March 9th, a period that saw Altrincham lose five of the nine games they played without their number one in the matchday squad. Once returning back to the squad, the robins were defeated just twice in ten games, with Ross keeping four clean sheets during the time.

The club reached the Vanarama National League semi-final, where they were defeated 3-1 by eventual play-off winners Bromley.

I personally believe that Ross could be one that the club look to bring in as last season, we were dealt with a lot of uncertainty around our goalkeeper position and Ross played a pivotal role for a club and a squad that continues to improve season upon season, and a club I expect to see in the Football League very soon.

The club may look at more experienced players for the level, but for one who played more than his part in the league below and missed out on promotion to the eventual winners, I certainly could think of worse options.

Bartosz Bialkowski – GK (Free Transfer)

Rogue shout? Maybe if this division was not notorious for breaking the internet with unbelievable signings like we did with David McGoldrick just last summer.

A familiar face, after making 84 appearances for Notts County between 2012-14, before joining Ipswich Town, where he made 168 appearances and played Championship football and winning the golden glove in that division in 2020.

Age on his side? Not quite as a 36-year-old, but that to me reads as still two very good years out of him, and for a club like Notts who have their ambitions set on promotion back to League One as soon as possible, this for me is one I would have at least enquired about if it was myself making the decisions.

Would it make sense? I cannot see a world where it would not. Bartosz still has the love of the Notts faithful, as proven by social media, and a move back to Meadow Lane to conclude his career would be very popular and one I can imagine to be very hard for him to reject if it was offered to him…

Collin Andeng Ndi – GK (Southend United)

The least of the three I would suspect to be the least likely, but one I would be a fan of if it was to happen.

Why? Let me just leave this below for you:

He faced 111 shots last season, of which he saved 78. He conceded 33, 55 less than the 86 Notts County conceded across last season, keeping 11 clean sheets along the way.

He is only 20 years of age, and has a frightening amount of potential in the English game once he eventually moves on from Southend United.

Notts have never been a club to shy away from signing from the leagues below them in the past, and I cannot imagine that to be an off-putting factor now, especially with a goalkeeper with the potential Collin possesses in a position that the club suffered from on a number of occasions last season.

James Clarke – RWB (Solihull Moors)

A player I have been an admirer of for a while now. Always has seemed to be a consistent shout for Solihull Moors’ player of the season and one who was named in the Vanarama National League team of the season.

Again, a player who certainly has a future higher up in English football once the right move comes for him, and I do not see a world where Meadow Lane cannot be the location for him to take those next steps.

One described as “the Wirral Cafu” by those at Solihull Moors, a nickname that warrants the secret admiration I have had for the player ever since he made that ridiculous goal-line clearance when Solihull Moors came to the Lane in our promotion season.

With Tobi’s departure, Notts now remain with just one recognised right wing-back in Aaron Nemane and a world where they make it two with James Clarke is a world I would not be against living in.

Sean Raggett – CB (Free Transfer)

Audacious? Maybe so, but sometimes the pull of this football club can be underestimated and so can the attraction of playing in front of home crowds of 10,000-11,000.

Most recently released by Portsmouth following their promotion to the Championship but played a 170+ games at Fratton Park and established himself as a firm League One defender.

Do I think this is a signing that Notts could pull off? Absolutely. It has not always been League One for Raggett, as he was an integral member of the Lincoln City side that wrote the story of that football club those years ago. When you considered the fact, no fee would need to be paid besides agent, and the fact that we have been so shy of dominant defenders since our return to the football league, I would like to think that defenders of the quality and calibre of Raggett are ones that the club are targeting.

If that is to be the case, look no further than making Raggett that guy. Will he have higher interest? Most certainly. But his career has been one that has been surrounded by projects and stories, and the one here may be one too tough to turn down if offered the potential to join it.

Jacob Mendy – LWB (Wrexham)

Can almost hear the boos already as you have read a name from Wrexham, but let me explain…

Wrexham have James McClean available to them in that position already, and if they recruit a player in that position again of the calibre of McClean which is something they most certainly have the power to do, that would see Mendy slip into third choice and that is something a player of his quality should never be.

I say of his quality with ease because he is an impressive footballer. When he came to the Lane last season, he performed well in keeping Jodi Jones quiet and that is something not many opponents can say following his record-breaking season and although it pains me to say it, his goal in the 3-2 win over us in the promotion season demonstrated his attacking powers from the position too.

Obviously, if Jones is to remain at the Lane, Mendy may be second choice here yet if we are heartbroken by a departure from Jones, although of no interest just yet, Mendy for me could fill the role for Notts in that position.

Played under Stuart Maynard at Wealdstone, where his fine form saw him transfer to Wrexham… A potential reunion, maybe?

Ryan Croasdale – CM (Free Transfer)

Just do it. Please, just do it. One of the names in here that are a MUST rather than an IF. I cannot think of any better suited free transfer out there for Notts County.

Won promotion with Stockport County from the National League, and again from League Two whilst totalling up 36 appearances with 27 starts.

This guy is a winner, and that is backed up above. Not only a winner in a very good football team, but an integral part of many of their successes.

Do Notts need a midfielder? It may be of split opinion, but for me it is a yes. The prospect of Scott Robertson and Matty Palmers is excellent, but if one gets injured such as Matty did last season and misses near the full duration of the campaign, that then leaves us in hot water.

GET CROASDALE IN! To be successful in this division, you need depth, and a choice of Robertson, Palmer and Croasdale is a nice place to begin with adding depth to this squad, especially considering the fact the club let go of two midfielders at the end of the season.


Now, you are probably thinking where on earth has this come from…

To explain, any regular watches of the NottsToTalkAbout will remember our episode with Modou Beyai, the agent of Alassana Jatta. In that episode, Modou mentioned Mahmudu and how he had told the club about him.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Bajo currently plays in Slovakia and has been considered as the next Gambian footballer to be brought to England to kickstart a career in the EFL.

He is currently 19 years of age, and is especially highly rated by Modou, who just so happened to be the guy behind Jatta’s move to the Lane and that has started out a big success.

So… Who knows? But, one to keep an eye out for…

Christopher Conn-Clarke – AM (Altrincham)

Who does not want this guy? For all the right reasons he has received endless interest from clubs in League One and Two, and one who of course fits the billing at Meadow Lane.

He concluded the National League season with 23 goals, when you consider how good Ruben Rodrigues was in that division and he concluded our promotion season with 19 goals, you quickly understand that this is some achievement from the role of the number ten.

I mentioned previously in this piece that depth is one of the most important keys to success in this division, and having the option of either Dan Crowley or Conn-Clarke to play the role of the ten for Notts every week is exactly what I mean.

Do I think he can go higher? Absolutely, but I also think he would be keen to move to Notts County if the interest was there, and he certainly suits the kind of player you would expect the club to be looking at this summer.

Will Evans – ST (Newport County)

Just the one striker in this as Notts currently have Macaulay Langstaff, Cedwyn Scott, Alassana Jatta, David McGoldrick and Junior Morias.

However, if the club were to lose Langstaff which although may appear unlikely as of right now, a man who concluded the top scorer in all of England’s top four leagues eventually receives interest, Evans would be my pick of replacement.

21 goals last time out in League Two, which saw him finish as the fourth top scorer in the league behind Matt Smith, Paul Mullin and Macaulay Langstaff for a Newport County side who finished in eighteenth.

A player who had quite a story himself, coming from Welsh football to English football and taking it by storm, a storm that could easily continue if a move to the Lane was on the cards.

Likely? I would say not as I believe the club are in no position to feel pressured into selling Macaulay Langstaff this summer. But if they do, Evans is the man that I would go and get to bring in to fill the void.

The seven names there are just suggestions of who I think Notts could be tempted into looking at as we edge closer and closer to June, a month in which a lot of business will transpire. Who knows what will happen, all we do know is, this summer has to be spot on for the sake of the upcoming season.

Let’s see what is in store for us…

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

*Main image @Wrexham_AFC Jacob Mendy formerly played for Stuart Maynard at Wealdstone.

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